Thursday, November 29, 2012



On Monday, unhappy with the situation at home, mainly a dirty flat, lots of undone housework and the constant need to nag anyone to do anything, I made a plan to go on strike. My plans were as follows:

1. Write a blog post announcing my intention to strike. (this is to cover my ass as I GAVE NOTICE)
2. Leave housework undone.
3. Laze around all day, eat snacks, drink tea and watch TV. (I know some people are going to say: Isn't that what you do all day anyway? So, shaddup already.)
4. Do this until all my demands are met.
5. My demands are as follows:
- a 5-day work week
- a constant supply of bananas for my morning breakfast of crunchy peanut-butter and bananas sandwich
- a foot massage

Well, I was in the middle of drawing up my demand list when something happened. First of all, a bunch of DVDs placed on top of a cupboard fell on my head and arm. (My head is now 1/4 larger) Son was very sympathetic (well, I was bawling my eyes out - DVDs freaking hurt!) and gave me his best chocolates. He said I would feel better. Later hubs gave me a back massage and that put me into the best sleep I've ever had. Then something so shocking happened. I heard the sound of cutlery and dishes being washed in the kitchen sink. Could it be? No! Why, yes! My girl actually washed the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink without anyone (mainly me) asking her.

So I called off the strike. After all, I do have a pretty good life. And a dirty home and undone housework are not the worst things to deal with.

* * *
On strike
Although I called off my strike, a strike did take place in Singapore.  On Monday, 102 SMRT bus drivers from China refused to show up for work. They were unhappy with their pay and living conditions. On Tuesday, the strike carried on but only with 88 protesters.

At first it was very confusing mainly because Singapore has not had a strike in 26 years. Later it became very weird because the "strike" was called a protest/wage dispute/sit-in even though every one can clearly see it is a strike. Finally, someone from the government came out to say, it is a strike. Which was a relief because couples (okay, just me and hubs) were feuding over the labeling.

On Wednesday, the strike ended.

Today, 4 of the instigators were charged in court. You see, they forgot to give SMRT 14 days notice of their strike. If you provide essential service like public transport, you must abide by the 14 days notice rule or you will be breaking a criminal law.

I expect some ugliness to come out of the 4 men being charged. Hope it doesn't get so ugly to the point where I fear buying food from a worker from China. (I will have to cook and eat the food I cooked which could be worse!)

This strike has in a way educated me somewhat. I've always had the impression that all strikes are illegal in Singapore. Apparently strikes are legal if they follow rules stipulated in the Trade Unions Act and Trade Disputes Act. Ha ha. I think that answers my question.

Edit 2 Dec 2012:
 1 more bus driver will be charged in court on Monday.
29 bus drivers were repatriated back to China today.
The remaining bus drivers were allowed to continue working for SMRT.

I can't help but feel sad how a pay dispute handled badly by SMRT ended this way. Hopefully, the 5 arrested bus drivers will be shown some mercy.


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