SINGAPORE: SMRT has terminated the services of three bus drivers who are facing criminal charges for their alleged roles in a strike last November — for absence from work without valid reasons.
It said He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang and Liu Xiang Ying breached the terms of their employment contracts.
The contract of a fourth driver, Wang Xianjie, who had also been charged and had not reported for work, expired on 14 January.
He is no longer employed by SMRT.
SMRT said in a statement on Wednesday that the four drivers had not reported for work since they were released on bail on 6 December 2012.
In the past six weeks, it had actively sought to maintain contact with them.
They had, until recently, refused direct communication with SMRT even though they were still employed and paid by SMRT.
They also moved out of the accommodation provided by the company and rejected SMRT’s offers of alternate accommodation.
SMRT said their continued absence from work without official leave is a breach of the company’s policy, as well as the terms of their employment contracts.
It suspended them from their duties, pending an internal disciplinary inquiry.
Notices of the inquiry were sent to their lawyers.
The inquiry was held on 17 January for He, Gao and Liu but the three were absent.
After considering the facts and evidence, the SMRT disciplinary board found that the three were absent from work without prior leave or reasonable explanation.
They also failed to inform or attempt to inform SMRT of the reasons for their absence.
Though the men’s work permits have been revoked, they will have to remain in Singapore as their case is before the courts.
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