ST, TODAY and ZB reported on the case hearing between the Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) and Singapore-based First Defense Services (FDS) over overdue annual increments for 2011. The Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC) ruled in the union’s favour last Thursday. Affect workers who earned up to $2,000 a month would receive a built-in increase of $50 a month, while those earning more than $2,000 a month would receive a built-in increase of 2.5% of their monthly basic salary. This would benefit some 34 affected workers. About seven workers who had served less than a year will receive pro-rated increments. These workers had not received any annual increment in 2010.
NTUC’s Director of Legal Services Patrick Tay said that FDS had not been responsive to negotiations for an annual increment. TODAY mentioned Mr Tay’s three main arguments: 1) the workers, over half of whom earned less than $1,700, had helped FDS achieve an “excellent” rating from the US Navy; 2) the company’s financial position had improved “greatly” in 2010; and 3) an increment was solely needed to help with rising costs of living. ST carried a quote from SISEU executive secretary Sylvia Choo who said the union was pleased with the decision and its members had been waiting for this increment since the firm was set up in 2009. She said the workers had helped turn the company around so they deserved the recognition as they were really the “pillars of the company”.