At an event to recognise and thank 22,000 transport workers, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan provided stern words to SMRT staff responsible for the tunnel floods in October this year.
“They have tarnished the reputation of Singapore and Singaporeans,” said Khaw, adding that they had “negated the good work” of other SMRT workers and “brought disrepute” to other transport workers.
He hoped that this episode would be “the turning point for SMRt, especially in its journey towards transforming its corporate culture”. SMRT workers were encouraged to dedicate their 100% to make train services reliable again.
“This requires an all out effort. This requires everyone in SMRT to play their part, from the CEO down to the rank and file,” Mr Khaw said, adding that while the company will find support from the union and other workers, SMRT staff themselves must do the “heavy lifting”.
66% of Singaporeans take public transport daily, and the daily bus and rail rides have increased by 30% to nearly eight million in five years. This has increased the work load of SMRT as they move to cater to new demands.
The Public Transport Workers Appreciation Day is held by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the National Transport Workers Union (NTWU) and public transport operators.
Melvin Yong, the Executive Secretary of NTWU previously said that the event had been planned months ago, and was not held in response to apparent public dissatisfaction over public transportation.
Bus company Transit Tower Singapore will be launching TowerCare, a staff welfare and engagement programme as a part of the appreciation day. Staff can look forward to weekly fitness classes, health talks, as well as pool and table tennis tournaments.