Workers stage protest over unpaid salaries

Singapore's CBD saw the unlikely sight this week - but the scene was broken up by police soon after

Workers stage protest over unpaid salaries

Over 30 construction workers staged a sit-down protest at Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) on Wednesday (March 6) over unpaid salaries.

The workers claimed Stargood Construction owed nearly $300,000 in overdue salaries accumulated from December 2018 to February 2019. They said about 59 workers had not been paid.

Workers had begun the strike on Monday, spending a few hours each day sitting on-site.

Four police vehicles were called to the ‘calm’ scene, and officers talked to the workers to break up the protest.

When contacted by TODAY, Stargood’s owner Lin Jie Biao said their claims were true. However, he added that employees were going unpaid because the project’s main contractor Shimizu Corporation had not paid him for his company’s work.

Lin said that the company completed the project despite the lack of funding because “delayed payments are the norm in the industry”.

Shimizu had also countered Stargood’s payment claims with a “back charge” of over $700,000. Lin disputed the costs and claimed he had taken out personal loans to cover some of his workers’ wages.

Lin stated that Stargood’s financials were “healthy” before they started the project in April last year.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is aware of the matter and is currently investigating.

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