The Chinese Labour Bulletin (see article: http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/chinese-bus-drivers-singapore-tossed-aside-after-strike) has published an article based on a one-sided interview with a driver that lost his opportunity to work in Singapore.
For starters – what do we expect? The terminated driver to say nice things about the system and people that revoked his work permit?
Let’s not waste time and zoom in straight at his comments and you decide if it is fair or not:
NTUC nor unions refuse to represent them
Neither the NTUC nor the National Transport Workers Union couldn’t represent them even if they wanted to. Using a real world analogy, say you and I didn’t know each other to start with and you got into trouble. How could I jump in and fight when you get into trouble? How would I know if you were right or wrong?
Authorities did not listen to them
Well, the onus is on the individual to prove this. How do we not know if the authorities did listen, but they refused to come to a compromise? If I didn’t do things the way you wanted it to, does it necessarily mean I didn’t listen?
There was no tolerance for their strike actions
Well – that’s precisely the point actually
Migrant workers can be hired and fired at whim
Actually, any worker, if you’re not performing or insubordinate, can be fired at whim. That’s employer’s freedom also. To what degree this freedom is turned into abuse, that’s another story altogether.
Unequal Pay, unequal treatment
Fine, this is where the dispute arose in the first place. They had unequal pay because these contract workers have signed an agreement, a contract to work for this $X before they came to this country. Was this a dispute? Yes it was. Was it unfair? Maybe. Could it have been properly negotiated? Most definitely.
Claim that they couldn’t join the trade union and membership was refused
This is highly unlikely. Thousands of foreign workers have joined trade union membership, why should these drivers be any different? I chose not to believe him because he (the interviewee) is already out of the reach of Singapore law and is free to say whatever he wants.
This here, is an article with a very bitter man. A man who has to hate the system because he received the worst of it.
Am I surprised or angry at the article? Not really – because we cannot expect a bitter man to say nice things.