Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/27/2012 01:09 | By Channel NewsAsia

SMRT bus drivers who refused to go to work in talks with management

SMRT bus drivers who refused to go to work in talks with management


SMRT bus drivers who refused to go to work in talks with management

SINGAPORE: Public transport provider SMRT said that it is in talks with its bus drivers who refused to go to work on Monday.

A spokesman for SMRT said the 102 bus drivers involved were from China and their service leaders are currently in talks with SMRT management.

SMRT said earlier reports that nearly 200 bus drivers were involved were incorrect.

Channel NewsAsia understands that the bus drivers had stayed away from work as a result of unhappiness over their pay.

According to residents living in the Woodlands dormitory where the bus drivers are staying, the drivers refused to leave for work at 4am on Monday when several SMRT buses arrived at the dormitory to pick them up.

Officials from SMRT headquarters have been at the dormitory since Monday morning and talks began at about 4pm.

About 50 bus drivers are involved in the ongoing discussions.

An SMRT spokesperson said that drivers who were not rostered to work on Monday were requested to work as a result of the no—show by the 102 drivers.

Separately, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) issued a statement that said the union could not represent the affected workers as they were not union members.

NTWU urged the workers involved to return to work immediately and added that the union was prepared to help in negotiations between SMRT management and the workers if both parties welcomed its involvement.

SMRT said that relevant authorities have already been informed about the situation and added that the company has been hiring bus drivers from China since 2008.

— CNA/jc

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