Saturday, December 01, 2012

Drivers' Strike Crushed, Authoritarian Order Restored

Just hot off the press:
5th bus driver to be charged, 29 repatriated
Updated 04:54 PM Dec 01, 2012
by Amir Hussain 
SINGAPORE - A fifth SMRT bus driver will be charged in Court on Monday for his involvement in this week's illegal strike, while 29 others will have their work permits revoked and be repatriated.
The rest involved will be issued warnings by the Police, but no further action will be taken against them and they will be allowed to remain and work in Singapore, as long as they abide by the law.
The Government announced this as it revealed this afternoon that the Police had completed their investigations into the illegal strike by SMRT bus drivers on Monday and Tuesday.
Four drivers were charged in court on Thursday for conspiracy to instigate others to take part in the illegal strike. A fifth person was served with a summons today under section 9(1) of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which relates to commencing, continuing, or acting in furtherance of an illegal strike.

The ruling powers of the People's Action Party have cracked down hard on the striking bus drivers. Those who instigated the strike and those who led the participation will be dealt with harshly and kicked out of the island. The iron hand of power of the ruling class and the corporate class will be restored and the working class will once again have their voice and rights snuffed out.

Confrontational labour relations cannot be tolerated by the PAP. This is because the PAP's power base has for a long time depended upon the appeasement of the multinational corporations and the government linked corporations, whose profits depend on a cheap, compliant, and emasculated work force.

If the working class were actually given the right to strike against being  exploited, the corporations would be forced to increase wages and working conditions would actually have to improve. That would be disastrous set of affairs, for then costs would have to rise, and the corporate executives would have to report lower profits to their shareholders and thus pay themselves less bonuses. Corporate executives would actually be forced to innovate in order to produce higher value added services, rather than simply reaping the easy profits that accrue to labour arbitrage.

It is too much risk for the ruling party to allow any semblance of tolerance for the strikes. For then, the thousands of Singaporean labourers who are also being exploited in their own homeland, might actually insist on their workers' rights being recognised, and then Singapore Inc. would begin to fail.

No. These rebellious, trouble seeking, lawless labourers must be crushed, silenced and made harmless. Only then will the corporate class and its agents in the PAP  be able to reap their fat, easy profits and their bonuses.

There is no other way.


MacRaeven said...

Intolerance towards confrontational actions nip matters in the bud.

Strikes have the potential to escalate into violence if not discouraged from the start. Should we then tolerate violence towards us, or is the government to step in only then, when there are victims to show, just so the exploited can express themselves freely?

Don't we all reap benefits from being a reliable and efficient hub for investors, local and foreign alike? Don't we all love our international brands and products? Doesn't the money from foreign investors partially go into building infrastructure for public use?

I could not begin to list the benefits of living in a country with no strikes. If the strikes were allowed, would we then have an article on how the government is becoming lax or about how the government is siding with the Mainland Chinese?

Do we seriously think that there are no other constructive avenues for the drivers to raise their concerns?

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