The Australian: The first real strike in a quarter century involving 5% of critical transport services for an extremely population dense island-nation just over fifty years old, does seem to tell Singapore that leveraging on China’s rise may prove to be an increasingly delicate affair.
Contrary to opinion floating around, strikes are not illegal but rather, one must be extremely in the know and meet multiple conditions to pull one off.
This sure has angered many Chinese on the mainland and Singaporean Chinese too – it is a complex issue with a tremendous back story. It will however, surely do little positives for the projection of national image and public diplomacy between the only two independent Chinese-majority states with Chinese leadership at the helm in the world.
Indeed, Singapore has been a known transnational Chinese social sphere for the good part of three centuries. Sun Yat Sen organised his thoughts and finances in Singapore to trigger the Chinese revolution a century odd back – will this spawn a chapter between the Chinese of Singapore and China?
For more, check out Why Chinese drivers went on strike in Singapore at Xinhua, December 8, 2012. Also, for evidence the Chinese are keeping a pulse on their sojourning workforce and consequent international relations with the host country – see China hopes Singapore secure rights of arrested drivers: ministry at Xinhua on December 7, 2012. J
Just how these events unfolding will impact bilateral ties remains to be seen – more recently more workers went on strike at Singapore’s docks. More on that in a coming article.
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Migrant bus driver strike stuns Singapore
Source – The Australian, published December 6, 2012
FOUR Chinese immigrant bus drivers accused of inciting Singapore’s first labour strike in 26 years have been granted bail in a case that highlighted growing social friction caused by an influx of foreign labour.
A fifth Chinese driver has already been sentenced to six weeks in prison even though prosecutors said he was not an instigator of the strike, which was called to demand equitable pay.
Walking off the job in protest is almost unheard of in Singapore, and the swift prosecution following the November 26-27 strike was a clear sign the government of this strictly-enforced country will not brook any disobedience from its work force. Read the rest of this entry »