(If you are short of time, juz read the last two paragraphs on why taking SMRT buses may be dangerous, otherwise read on.)
TRE reprinted this and Neutral responded as follows:
To be fair, “ex-SAF chief and scholar” was only in charge recently and so not really his problem. More like it’s “Miss colour hair” legacy.
However, it is interesting to see how he handle this situation and if he applies a military approach, these “strikers” can jolly well go home to PRC for christmas.
Ever since the illegal strike began, SMRT has goofed in its handling of it:
— Came out to say initially 102 didn’t turn up: later said 171. If it got it wrong by 10%, fair enough, but it got it wrong by 67%. If it didn’t know how many drivers didn’t turn for work, it means it didn’t know how many drivers extra it would need. If a transport company can’t keep track of attendance, there is something wrong with its management info systems.
— But maybe it wasn’t the fault of the mgt info system but of the internal communications system?
— Then there was SMRT saying that striking workers were sacked; and then saying more had returned to work the next day. If they were sacked, how can return to work?
— As the law is very clear on what constitutes a strike (minister’s comments), management did not take decisive action in calling it an “illegal strike” until after the minister said so, it seems. This did the constructive, nation-building no favours, forcing it into some contortions to explain the initial non-use of the word “strike”. The media will not thank the management for the public ridicule it got.
— SMRT has admitted that “swifter actions could have been taken to improve dormitory conditions”. It should have admitted it could have communicated better with the PRC workers. It said on Wednesday, “the additional pay adjustment of S$25 a month for drivers from China was finalised last week and that it is in the process of communicating this to the drivers.” (CNA). Couldn’t they have told the drivers, before they saw their pay slips?
— The dormitory conditions should not have been so bad. SMRT is a TLC and GLC, not any SME.
— SMRT should have encouraged the FT PRCs to join NTUC. SBS did this. If they were part of Zorro’s gang, maybe things may not have reached this point. As Siow Kum Hong wrote on his FB page, “[A]ctually, i think people go on strike only if they feel disenfranchised and after they think they’ve exhausted other options.”
— As the strike took place when the CEO was away on overseas leave, it showed a lack of foreknowledge of worker unhappiness. Or worse: SMRT knew but CEO couldn’t be bothered to change his vacation plans.
These failings reflect badly on the ex-general, ex-SAF chief and scholar. And shouldn’t he be on the first plane back? After all, first illegal strike in Singapore since 1980 and in a TLC. The CEO was an ex-SAF chief and then senior servant: is this boh chap attitude a reflection of the ethos of public service?Thank God, there was no military or national security crisis during his stint as SAF chief.
Avoid the stock. It’s a dog that has fleas on the dog’s fleas.
And what happens if one of the FT drivers is so frustrated that he turns suicidal when driving a bus full of commuters. Or if he runs amok? Has the ex-colonel and scholar in charge of bus operations tot about the possibility that putting unhappy drivers on the road is endangering S’poreans and FTs. Imagine the damage that pictures of passengers being burnt alive will do to S’pore’s reputation as employers’ paradise?
Better give SMRT bus services a miss if you can. And if you have to take a SMRT bus, better make your will first, and check your insurance cover. Better safe than sorry?