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Ang Mo Kio worker protest: MOM probes 2 building firms, helps 5 workers get paid salary owed to them

SINGAPORE — Two local building firms here are being investigated by the authorities over possible offences under the Employment Act after some workers protested outside a light industrial building in Ang Mo Kio earlier this week, demanding payment of their salaries.

A screenshot taken from social media of the men outside the NCS Hub Ang Mo Kio on Oct 18, 2022.

A screenshot taken from social media of the men outside the NCS Hub Ang Mo Kio on Oct 18, 2022.

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SINGAPORE — Two local building firms here are being investigated by the authorities over possible offences under the Employment Act after some workers protested outside a light industrial building in Ang Mo Kio earlier this week, demanding payment of their salaries.

In a Facebook post on Friday (Oct 21), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) said that they have been assisting 10 migrant workers from Zhengda Corporation who were involved in the incident on Tuesday. Of the 10, MOM and TADM said they had found that five of the workers were owed salary payments.

“We have assisted all five workers with their salary claims, and Zhengda Corporation has since settled the payments in full.

“We have also verified that the other five workers as well as the rest of Zhengda Corporation’s workforce are not owed salary payments and did not report any well-being concerns thus far,” they said.

At the same time, the manpower ministry found that Shanghai Chong Kee — another building firm involved in interior fit-outs — owes salary payments to its migrant workers.

The workers are currently being assisted by both MOM and TADM.

“Both Shanghai Chong Kee and Zhengda Corporation are being investigated for possible offences under the Employment Act,” they said.

On Tuesday, CNA quoted a Chong Kee executive as saying the protest related to a payment dispute between Chong Kee and its subcontractor Zhengda.

MOM stressed that the well-being of Singapore’s workforce, including that of migrant workers, remains its priority.

“TADM will continue to help workers who face salary issues and assist them in recovering their salaries. MOM is also working with the Migrant Workers’ Centre and the Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees’ Union to help with the well-being of the workers,” it said.

On Tuesday, the police said that nine men were assisting in investigations for allegedly protesting outside the NCS Hub Building at Ang Mo Kio Street 62.

The men had allegedly blocked the entrance and exit of the building while holding up signs demanding their salaries, the police told TODAY.

Photos on social media showed the workers holding up signs printed in English and Mandarin that said “Shanghai Chong Kee” and “pay back the debt”.

They also stood on the road in front of a stationary lorry with the contact number and address of Zhengda Corporation printed on it.

According to Zhengda Corporation's LinkedIn profile, the civil engineering company was founded in Singapore in 2002 and has between 200 and 500 employees.

Shanghai Chong Kee's website states that the business started out in Singapore in 1950 as a sole proprietorship doing mainly carpentry work.

It has since opened overseas offices and describes itself as "an interior fit-out company". In 2017, it won an Urban Redevelopment Authority heritage award for preservation work at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

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Ministry of Manpower TADM Migrant Workers salary dispute

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