SINGAPORE – Five bus drivers are suing their employer, bus and train operator SBS Transit (SBST), over a wage dispute.
According to court documents filed by their lawyer M. Ravi of Carson Law Chambers, the drivers claim SBST paid them below the Ministry of Manpower’s regulated rate for overtime work, and that their working hour records do not match the monthly pay slips they were given.
The writ of summons was served on SBST on Monday (Sept 23), Mr Ravi told The Straits Times.
The documents state that one of the drivers, Mr Chua Qwong Meng, was expected to work for seven days in a row without a rest day and clocked more than 44 hours in a week.
But he claimed he was not paid the regulated overtime pay rate and filed a report with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management and the National Trades Union Congress.
Mr Chua also attended meetings with the National Transport Workers’ Union and representatives from SBST and its parent group ComfortDelGro in July and August this year, but received “no conclusive answers”, according to his statement of claim.
He then asked for an official letter with a breakdown of his monthly pay but did not receive it within the two days, as was agreed to by SBST.
Mr Chua then sent out four “chaser emails” and SBST subsequently replied by restating its position, “which is in breach of the contract”, the statement said.
Mr Ravi said the other four drivers have filed similar claims.
“Some of the drivers have been working for SBS Transit for as long as 10 years and they say they have been underpaid for the whole period,” he added.
He also said his five clients, comprising three Singaporeans and two Malaysians, are still working as drivers for SBST. But they have since resigned as members of the NTWU over the dispute as they felt they had not been properly represented, Mr Ravi added.
In response to queries, SBST confirmed it was served the writs of summons on Monday.
“We are in discussion with our lawyers. We intend to defend against the allegations rigorously,” an SBST spokesman told The Straits Times.
SBST has eight days to file notice in court that it will defend itself against the claims by the bus drivers.