A video and photo that have been circulating on social media and WhatsApp of construction workers holding what looks like a strike, is said to involve the sub-contractor of Lian Beng Construction Ptd and not the company itself.
The photo shows found constructions workers in a construction site standing in front of a signboard that says ‘Lian Beng Construction Ptd’ holding up signs asking for their salaries to be paid while the video shows what appears to be the same workers holding up the same signs as well as quite a number of other employees sitting in an orderly fashion in front of those holding up the signs.
A spokesperson from Lian Beng Construction shared with TOC that the incident transpired in end May this year and was resolved on the same day the incident took place.
The wage dispute was between a sub-contractor and the workers under that company and does not involve Lian Beng Construction Ptd.
When asked if the sub-contractor can be named, the spokesperson declined to do so.
When asked what did the company mean by the incident being resolved, the spokesperson noted that the wages owing to the workers were paid.
However, as the as the sub-contractor is not identified, TOC cannot approach the company to ascertain what is the fate of the workers who protested for their unpaid wages. It is common for migrant workers to have their permits cancelled by the employer and hastily sent back even if there is a legitimate complaint about employment issues.
One may think that it is illegal for wages to be withheld but the reality is not the case.
Ministry of Manpower notes that if one is paid late or not paid, one can only seek to file a salary claim at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), or approach their union for assistance.
On the other hand, for organising an assembly for a cause without permit is a chargeable offence which one would be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 and $3,000 for one who takes part in such an event.