Firm owes ex-staff $30,000 in wages

Firm owes ex-staff $30,000 in wages

A LOGISTICS and customer services company has been ordered by the Manpower Ministry to pay 19 former employees about $30,000 in salaries owed to them.

Business Allianze Services has to pay them by next week, a ministry spokesman told The Straits Times earlier this week. The company is said to have not paid them for 11/2 months.

In all, 24 former employees made claims for owed salaries. Of these, 19 were heard by the Assistant Commissioner for Labour last week. The rest will be heard at a later date.

The ministry is also investigating the employer for offences under the Employment Act. Bosses who fail to pay their workers can be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $5,000.

The workers' plight came to light after a former employee posted on citizen journalism website Stomp on June 7 that the company had not paid some of them since April. The worker who wrote the Stomp post told The Straits Times he and his colleagues were each paid just $100 since April. They were owed between $1,500 and $2,000 each.

He asked to be identified as PK.

Business Allianze is a sub-contractor for Changi Airport's biggest ground-handling services company, Sats.

PK said he was told by his boss, whom he knew as Paul, that the company was fined by Sats when some workers did not show up for work in protest at not being paid their full salary.

"He said because the company had to pay the fine, it did not have enough funds to pay us," said PK, who worked as a customer service officer.

A Sats spokesman told The Straits Times on Wednesday that the company had engaged Business Allianze as a sub-contractor since the middle of last year. It provides Sats with workers for customer service and in-flight catering operations.

The Sats spokesman also confirmed that it had asked Business Allianze for compensation when the company was unable to meet the manpower requirements. The Straits Times understands that Sats has not been paid.

Its spokesman added that Business Allianze terminated the customer service contract on May 17. Its employees who were working with Sats as part of the contract left the company and joined Sats' wholly-owned subsidiary, Aerolog Express.

Business Allianze Services' director, Mr Lin Jie, a Singapore permanent resident, could not be contacted yesterday.

The Straits Times visited the company's registered office address in Sim Lim Tower last week and found another company occupying the premises. An employee who came to the door said Business Allianze Services moved out about a year ago.

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