A group of over 100 PRC workers at Panasonic Refrigeration Devices Singapore Pte Ltd have started a petition, drawing attention to their grievances. They started the petition after negotiation with their management failed.
The petition originally written in Chinese was addressed to the Managing Director of Panasonic Asia Pacific, Yorihisa Shiokawa. It was signed by 118 PRC workers. They are also urging others who face similar issues to join in the petition:
Some of the grievances highlighted in the petition include:
(1) They have requested to have a copy of their employment contract from the company many times but claimed that their requests were turned down.
(2) Their basic pay of $500 is too little. They said they have to work illegally, exceeding the legal limit of 72 hours of overtime a month before they can earn a decent salary to make a living.
(3) Insufficient overtime notice was given to workers resulting in them unable to plan their own activities properly.
(4) To get the job, a lot of the them have paid $6000 fee each to an employment agency, purportedly designated by the company. They could not understand why Panasonic, a renown international company would want to deal with such an ‘illegal’ agency.
(5) They have tried to discuss these issues with their immediate management but their immediate management did not treat them seriously.
Panasonic, a Japanese multinational corporation posted an operating profit of $618.99 million in the first quarter of 2012. Its Asia-Pacific headquarter is in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Jolovan Wham from the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), an organization dedicated to providing assistance to migrant workers and victims of human trafficking and forced labour, posted a note on its Facebook:
“In the last few months, I have been approached by over one hundred migrant Chinese women and men who are factory workers in Panasonic’s plant in Singapore. My colleague and I spoke with the management but we were unable to achieve anything out of the discussions. The workers also failed in their negotiation for better working conditions. Finally, they have decided to send in a petition.”
At $500 per month salary, it’s no wonder employers in Singapore would want to ‘pressure’ the Ministry of Manpower to give them more foreign quota so that they can employ more foreigners to work in their companies. It is also no wonder that our labour productivity continues to be low.
What we are seeing is nothing more than our local employers indulging in a modern-day form of ‘human slavery’, supported by our Govt’s liberal policy in the last few years.
No wonder Singapore has problems with the US relating to human rights issue when we get involved in assisting “slave labour” by mass importing cheap FTs, the world must know what is happening in Singapore so that they will not be exploited to think Singapore is a “goldmine” but instead filled with problems to resort to this low down tactic to lower it’s cost to boost it’s GDP.
If these FTs are really “talents” that we do not have in Singapore, then pay them higher than Singaporeans’s share of 17% CPF contributions so as to level the playing field, or else stop mass importing FTs as this is a stinking diease, Singapore must find other ways to remain competitive by moving up the value chain, not taking a shortcut to political and economic suicide.
– Contributed by Oogle