SMRT reaps profits…but….

The first time I realised that there are real people working in SMRT was when I saw this video by Night Owl Cinematics and heard Mohamed Ishak, an SMRT employee who is proud of his work, he says “Even if the public does not know the work we do every night, even if they do not recognise our job….we are proud of what we do every night, we try our best, to improve the system.”

It is really heartening to see the posters and watching Youtube videos of workers, doing their best, to ensure our rail system works. And all our anger whenever the train fails dissipated, because we know that SMRT workers are working on it”.



Good news for SMRT today as they just released their Q3 profits and it’s up 63.5% to $37m. Woo-hoo!! Reading the details, MRT operations posted a 203.3% rise in operating profit to $9.7million.

It’s mind-boggling that there’s a 6.6% increase in revenue to $348.5m. Well, more people are taking the MRT with COE prices so steep, and government promoting a car-lite Singapore, we can expect MRT ridership to increase.

SMRT shareholders and top management staff must be getting ready for a bumper year even as the rest of Singapore warns of an impending downtown, and signals of workers losing their jobs.

Then comes the highlight that rail operations are still in the red with losses of $1.1m. It is also reported that “Profit from retail space rental remained its single biggest profit churner, growing 5.4% to $21.8m…” I hope workers in the rail section of SMRT would not be short-changed, because without them, would SMRT be able to realise profits from non-rail operations?

And Desmond Kwek, SMRT CEO said, “We continue our steady performance in our non-rail businesses but the rail business remains challenging due to higher operating costs associated with improving rail reliability.”

May we remind you what SMRT’s core business is?

NTWU, the union representing transport workers should be primed to negotiate for better wages for SMRT employees. When googling for information, looks like NTWU has negotiated for SMRT to adopt the Progressive Wage Model concept for their train and bus captains in July 2014.

Sure hope that SMRT’s ‘We’re working on it’ includes fair treatment for the workers too.

Image Credits: blog.smrt.

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Jasmine Wong

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