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SMRT fires workers on strike

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SMRT has terminated the contracts of three workers who went on strike in November, who since had been absent without leave.

The drivers, He Jun Ling, Gao Yue Qiang, Liu Xiang Ying had not reported for work since they were released on bail on 6 December 2012, a spokesperson from SMRT said in an official statement.

A fourth worker, Wang Xianjie, who has also not reported for work, did not get his contract renewed after it expired on January 14.

All four workers were suspended from duties pending an investigation after their involvement in a strike which resulted in 171 bus drivers staging a sit-in protesting their living conditions and pay.

“They had, until recently, refused direct communication with SMRT even though they remained under our employment and were remunerated according to the terms of their employment. They also moved out of the company-provided accommodation and rejected SMRT’s offers of alternate accommodation to them,” the statement read.

SMRT said their absence is in violation of their employment contract, and hence, He, Gao, and Liu have been let go. Wang’s contract, which expired on 14 January, has also not been renewed.

“Having considered all the facts and evidence before it, the SMRT disciplinary board convened for the inquiry found He, Gao and Liu to have been, between the time of their release on bail and suspension, absent from work without prior leave or reasonable explanation for their absence. They also failed to inform or attempt to inform SMRT of the reasons for their absence,” SMRT said.

Channel News Asia reported despite their unemployment, the drivers will have to remain in Singapore as their case is still under investigation.

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