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SMRT Strike Reflects Singapore’s Efficient Quality Of Life

Despite the negative publicity brought about by the recent SMRT strike to Singapore, the issue has also put to light how remarkable Singapore’s existing infrastructure is.

Just recently 102 Chinese drivers employed by public transport operator SMRT have rallied against the company for unjust working hours and compensation as well as poor living conditions. The rally was resolved with six drivers being incriminated, 29 being deported to their home country, and 150 drivers being apprehended. The story was well-documented by leading news agencies including BBC and Bloomberg.

The issue has sparked a discussion among Singapore’s citizens. Some people lament how disappointingly SMRT handled the situation and some are incensed about SMRT’s disregard for the welfare of its drivers. The government’s policies on foreign worker importation have also been brought to light because of the issue.

People, however, need to realize that the strike was the first to happen in 26 years, since the last one occurred in 1986. This is quite a feat considering the assortment of Singapore’s foreign manpower. Singapore has performed well in terms of the frequency of private or public sector strikes as compared to major economies such as the United Kingdom, France, Austria, and France.

A reason for this is Singapore’s efficient labor policies. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) provides a wide range of protection and employment initiatives for workers.

The majority of Singapore’s manpower are also highly educated and skilled which popularized the city-state as a knowledge-based economy. Businesses can rest assured that their workers are competent enough to perform specific tasks. This fact alone has helped Singapore maintain its top position as the World’s Best Labor Force based on investment watchdog BERI’s labor force evaluation survey.

Singapore owes much of its economic growth to its highly skilled manpower composed of locals and expats. This is one of the top reasons why the country is a leading destination for many foreign companies who are looking into company incorporation in the region.