SINGAPORE: Nine men are assisting police investigations after they blocked the entrance and exit of a building in Ang Mo Kio on Tuesday afternoon (October 18), holding up signs demanding their wages.
Police said they received a call for help at 5 Ang Mo Kio 62 Road around 1:50 p.m.
“The officers hired the men to stop their activities and they complied,” police said, adding that the workers are between 28 and 54 years old.
“Currently, the men collaborate in police investigations for the crime of participating in a public meeting without permission.”
Images circulating on social media showed workers holding signs with the Shanghai Chong Kee company name in Mandarin. They were also seen standing in front of a vehicle while talking to police officers.
In response to CNA queries, Shanghai Chong Kee security director Ganesan Arumugam said the protest was a pay dispute between his company and subcontractor Zhengda Corporation.
The nine workers were from Zhengda Corporation. Six of them were contracted by Shanghai Chong Kee from Aug. 4 to Sept. 27 for renovation work at the Ang Mo Kio site, Arumugam said.
The building is the headquarters of technology services firm NCS Group, which is not involved in the dispute.
According to Zhengda Corporation, Shanghai Chong Kee did not make payments for weeks. Since then, the latter has issued two checks, Zhengda Corporation project manager Andy Hu told CNA on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Labor (MOM) said it was alerted to the incident by the police.
“The workers have the help of the MOM and the Tripartite Alliance for Conflict Management (TADM) and have safely returned to their dormitories,” the ministry said on Tuesday.
The offense of participating in a public meeting without permission carries a fine of up to S$3,000.
“The police would like to remind the public that organizing or participating in a public gathering without a police permit in Singapore is illegal and constitutes an offense under the Public Order Act,” Singapore Police said.