Wan Soon Construction fined for non-payment of salary

Posted by under Labour Watch on 17 October 2006

Wan Soon Construction was convicted and fine for non-payment of salary. The company faced 283 charges for failing to pay salaries to Indian migrant workers in 2004. In 2002, More then 200 Indian migrant workers protest against the non-payment.

Ministry of Manpower

Press Statement

Former Director And CFO of Wan Soon Construction Pte Ltd Convicted of 20 Counts Each of Failing to Pay Salary to Workers And Fined $1,000 On Each Charge

01 August 2006

1. Alan Koh Koo Yong and Sam Koh See Kwang, former director and CFO respectively of Wan Soon Construction Pte Ltd ("Wan Soon"), each pleaded guilty today in the Subordinate Courts to 20 counts of failing to pay salaries to their workers in 2004. They were fined $1,000 on each count, totalling $20,000 per person. Each also had 263 charges taken into consideration for sentencing. Both accused persons paid half of the fines due today. The Court granted their application to pay the remainder of the fines by instalments.

2. The case against the former CEO of Wan Soon, Giam Siang Hai, is still before the courts. He also faces 283 charges for failing to pay salaries to the same group of workers.

3. These charges relate to claims lodged by Wan Soon workers in Jul 2004 against their employer for failure to pay their salaries. With the assistance of MOM and their respective embassies, the workers had earlier obtained a partial settlement comprising the air fare to their home countries and cash payments.

4. Alan Koh and Sam Koh have also voluntarily paid a further $58,000 to MOM to be distributed to the affected workers. MOM will be contacting the workers once the criminal case against Giam Siang Hai has been concluded and the total sum of money available for distribution determined.

5. The Ministry would like to remind employers not to treat the non-payment of salaries as normal business debts for which their liabilities are limited. Prompt salary payment is a basic responsibility of all employers. Employers who fail to pay salaries to their workers are violating the law. The Ministry will not hesitate to take action against them, including prosecuting and blacklisting errant employers from hiring foreign workers.

Sources and Relevant Links:

MOM Former Director and CFO of Wan Soon Construction Convicted

Think Centre Singapore: 200 Indian Workers protest at Indian Embassy 29 June 2004

Think Centre Indian Migrant Workers Protest Again
17 July 2004

Think Centre Today in Parliament: 3 MPs will question the MOM on non-payment of salaries to foreign workers
20 July 2004

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