As per TOC’s previous article about Ivan Lim’s criticisms and press statement, many have pointed out that he didn’t apologise for past actions. An apology acknowledges one’s actions were wrong; a press statement justifies one’s actions were reasonable.
However, a shipyard worker named Kumar begs to differ.
In the e-mail screenshots he has provided to TOC on Saturday evening (27 June), it allegedly detailed how one of Lim’s directives endangered the lives of many workers.
Lim, who had transferred one month prior in January 2014 to Pioneer Yard 1, enforced a new rule disallowing the workers to enter the shipyard before 7.30am to rest or have their breakfast. As such, many of them resorted to sleeping along “busy streets with vehicles travelling at high speed.”
Kumar reached out to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on 13 February 2014, the Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees’ Union, and the Workplace Safety and Health Institute to look into this matter as it was simply an “accident waiting to happen.”
MOM apparently raised the concerns to Keppel and according to Keppel’s management, the matter had been rectified on 27 Feb 2014. Subsequently the workers were permitted to enter the shipyard before 7.30am.
Kumar also informed MOM that an accident occured on 13 April 2014 where a taxi swerved onto the pavement where the workers used to lie on, and if Lim’s directive was still in effect, the workers would have been hurt.
Other than the above safety issue, Kumar also shared how Lim had treated the workers in poor manner.
In an email to Lim Swee Say, then-NTUC secretary-general, he wrote that the KOM union is unable to help the workers and had “compromised with the management”.
He shared that a newly promote General Manager, who happens to be Lim, did not want the workers to crowd around the drink vending machines and ordered the Union to move the machine outside of the canteen.
And this meant that the workers can only buy from the machines during lunch as they are only allowed to vist the canteen during lunc time.
As for vending machines that are outside of the canteen, timing was set so that drinks can only be purchased at certain time of the day.
Kumar ended his message to the NTUC secretary-general with, “I think this is not [humane], they should not be treat the poor workers in this manner.”