News and views from an unique perspective

Singaporean working at Cold Storage as retail assistant paid less than $1,000 monthly

Posted by temasektimes on July 4, 2012

Cold Storage supermarket may be one of the largest supermarket chains in Singapore, but its Singaporean workers are still very poorly paid.

According to one irate Patrick Lee who wrote to the Straits Times Forum today, his brother who worked for the Cold Storage supermarkets for several years as a retail assistant is paid less than S$1,000 monthly.

To compound matters, Cold Storage will not adopt the National Wages Council (NWC) recommendation to adjust the pay of its low-wage workers.

“Already, my brother has to work six days a week, and on public holidays as well. He does not receive a half-day off for Chinese New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve; he cannot apply for block leave and does not know his day off in advance. The compensation for working on public holidays amounts to very little, and he is not given a day off as compensation.”

He expressed his surprise at its refusal to follow the NWC wage guidelines to give a raise to low-income workers.

“I am puzzled why a big company like Dairy Farm will not follow the NWC wage guidelines for workers like my brother, who sacrifice much so Cold Storage can function daily. I can now understand why many citizens shun such work, because one is virtually yoked to the job.”

Despite a booming economy, the wages of Singapore’s low-income workers have stagnated in recent years due to the relentless influx of cheaper foreign workers.

Singapore has the highest income gap between the rich and the poor among the thirty most developed economies in the world after Hong Kong.


47 Responses to “Singaporean working at Cold Storage as retail assistant paid less than $1,000 monthly”

  1. ilovesex said

    Take care. Try not to vote pap.

  2. with 6 days a week and less than 1k, I tender my resignation immediately.

    • Agent K said

      I second that. I am working 5 days pw as a data entry assistant while awaiting uni and earn slightly more than 1k already.

  3. Don’t worry. The ministers say 1k is enough to buy HDB.

  4. RWS said

    if you don’t want the job, cold storage can easily hire FT to replace you,

    with so many FT, cold storage, ntuc or other SME can pay peanuts

  5. spotlessleopard said

    Shame on the Dairy Farm Group…

  6. Mr Nuh said

    NWC wage guidelines are optional. That’s why many companies continue their unfair practices of underpaying employees. And many employees stay on is because of tight job market. The fact is Singapore has dire situation of rampant unemployment, underemployment and underpaid among locals.

    I’m a local Singaporean and I used to work closely with human resource and found that foreigners and immigrants were paid higher than locals. Thus, the media buzz about cheap foreign workers are somewhat untrue.

    Currently, my close friend in his early 30s, a local Singaporean living at Ang Mo Kio constituency, is among the long-term jobless. His local friend is also jobless. I’m disgusted at Singapore mainstream media which keep spinning partial truth and disinformation.

    Between 2008 and 2009, I was jobless for just above 1 year and not a single help group lend a helping hand to relieve my family financial difficulties.

    • mahbok tan said

      The FACT is our GOVT of the DAY do not give a DAMN FUG about this.

      Their excuse are due to GLOBALISATION where businessmen will go to the lowest business environment countries. As such SGporean workforce which are known for hardwork were left behind due to our “high salary”…!!! But MSM are not counting all the hidden cost of employing foreigners.

      If they can pay foreigners all the allowances and levies , why not they pay SGporean that amount and at the same time the GOVT should work very hard to lower the cost of housing , foods and transportation….!!!

      Our Ministers are damn fucking lazy to think for solutions after being paid in millions…KNNBCCB…!!!

      And all those 60.1% who vote for them are them fucking happy with the business and contact they get from the PAP….like i scratch U , U scratch me type of culture….!!! to them i say lanjiao….!!!

  7. Exaggerated said

    As long as the PAP policies favor the big corporations and companies and as long as Singapore does not have an independent Labour Union that BALANCE the welfare of the workforce and the businesses, Singapore workforce can just sit there and cry unless something is done to make it happen.

    We do not want a union that favors the companies in Singapore non do we want one that kills it. What should be happening is a union that balance it. (Conscience and ethics are all gone in the name of productivity and numbers greed.)

  8. poor mice said

    Part time retail assistant working at ntuc fair price earn ard $800 in a typical month too..

  9. oute said

    Where are our law makers, are they still sleeping.

    • Eugene said

      They r await but the problem they are biggest employer in Singapore , they r the one who lead by example . What to do , 60 % support them unchance.

  10. Edmund ching said

    With so many FTs here, the companies can just tell the worker off.U dont want to work here,u can go elsewhere, we can recruit foreigners to replace you.This is one way the companies used as an excuse to hire foreigners.FTs can work 16hr stretch and gets two off days per month.

  11. irritatedsg said

    FT more valuable than us wat. suck thumb lo. this is the garment u voted, wat. suck it up,yo!

  12. hmmmmm said

    my father work as a clean 5.5day $750-$850 only

  13. Parity said

    Heard their lunch time also very short like 30 min or something. Can anyone verify?

  14. Thinker said

    I don’t quite get it. Why didn’t your brother upgrade himself, find another job or seek other alternatives rather than expecting miracles to happen? While we can complain till the cows come home about low wages, unfair treatment, ‘foreign talent’ caused our pay to stagnate, the ONLY change agent is your brother. If you can’t change the world (yes, even with your one vote going to the opposition let’s say), then change yourself. The rule of survival is simple I thought.

    • Eugene said

      Upgrate skill in order to upgrade more work but doesn’t mean you upgrate your salary . Not complainting but wish u one day don’t be the unlucky one.

      • Thinker said

        What are ‘upgrate’ and ‘complainting’? Maybe you should upgrade your writing skills.

    • mahbok tan said

      KNNBCCB …. don’t talk about upgrade la…prease….very the pek chek ….!!!

      Its the GOVT not having the right policy for SGporean. U go upgrade and then u go overseas to work la….!!! How about the rest of SGporean….oso must go overseas is it….!!!

      Go and see the airport , seaport all man by foreigners(malaysians0 …allo this is security business…can trust foreigner meh….???? am i craziiieeee or what….???? What no SGporean to take that kind of job is it…???

  15. citutt said

    my sister too have been working in cold storage as ordering clerk for more thsn 20yrs..n her pay now is just about 1.3k…reason is dat their annual increment is total peanut…$10 – $30 only…dairy farm is such a cheapskate organisation..

  16. john huang said

    give me the phone number to the cold storage’s HR. i will personally f**K that mofo up.

  17. No shit Sherlock said

    lol, so sad.

    work at Australia supermarket – $21 per hour, $28/hr on Sunday, $44/hr on public holiday. every 3 hour = 1 break.

    • wmulew said

      In Australia they pay through their nose for goods and services. The same can be implemented here, are u willing to pay that amt for the same service? Are U willing to pay $10 for a plate of chicken rice. The money has to come from somewhere. The reason why U enjoy your great life is because you are stepping on the pple beneath U.

      • gso said

        Sg got Gst, which the poor, the babies, the very olds, the handicapped, etc also paid, COE, water taxes, foreign workers levies, etc also add up. Hawker food is not cheap anymore now please wake-up.

  18. Sni said

    Yet staff in MOE, Mindef, Moh are shaking their s. Worst, lots of new citizens and PRs r working in IT yet locals are jobless. This is a sad state for Singaporeans.

    • OneHungLow said

      I applied for a job and was offered $1,800. Reason being that the company pays $1,800 to foreigners in the same position. In the end, I didnt get the job either

  19. J J said

    In Australia, there are humanitarian labor laws with Minimum Wages legislation. Thus, as long as you are willing to work and put your hands, body and skills to the grinder, even as a cleaner, construction worker, etc, you can have a decent pay and even have the means to go for holidays …

    Don’t lecture about me about upgrading: I served NS, studied in Australia becoz the local Universities don’t accept me, I went on to do a Masters in the bid to “upgrade” my skill set, made two academic journal publications, with a Dean’s Commendation Award. I have been jobless for over a yr after applying in countless agencies and I’m 30. So i called in. Guess wat they say. “We want fresh undergraduates, sir, your masters we don’t count.” Don’t know if they wanna cut cost or think i’m an idiot who upgraded too much.

    I have a friend who upgraded himself by doing part-time studies while working via his diploma qualifications. With a Degree now, he can’t find a job in business analysis which he majored in for his degree.

    So pls cut the bull on upgrading and low wages ~ the fact is not everyone is guaranteed a job if you strive hard in academics or skills as the gov says … the job environment in little spore no longer supports tat, or has not been supporting that for ages ~ the lack of common sense, labor laws and rights, suppressed underpinnings of apparent causes, and the will for the push of innovation in creative economies and industries that will move away the dependence on cheap labor is causing this disgusting scene of events.

    • Thinker said

      Why didn’t you find a job in Australia then? I’m serious here. You may get a decent job and decent pay as you’ve claimed? Why not?

      • Thinker said

        I’m also curious, JJ. At 30, with a master degree and Dean’s commendation award, what job did you apply for and how much salary were you expecting? There are many missing details here that could have been the reasons for your inability to find a job.

      • Seraphim said

        Australia put their own people first when you look for a job, things like ‘business analysis’ or the likes that have a decent amount of Australian studying, immigrants can forget about looking for a job in Australia. (Singaporeans have no such perks). So immigrants will need to be skilled in something that Australians are desperately in need of or did not want to do it.

        Even the IT graduates(non-citizen) from Australia universities are finding it hard to find job in Australia right now. (From what I heard from my friends who studied there.)

        With a master degree and Dean’s commendation award, one should be able find a job easily…

        But then again, finding good paying job is not easy in Sg and he also stated about ‘your master don’t count’ from his potential employers and that is another way of saying ‘you are not qualified’…

      • Trollbuster said

        You’re not a thinker, you’re a f***ing PAP troll!

    • J J said

      Well, Mr Thinker, I never asked for a high pay btw … im ‘only expecting’ a fresh graduate pay based on my lack of actual experience in the industry, despite having 2 years of research experience for the field … And in Australia, if you don’t have at a PR, you can only pray to the gods for a helping hand or any luck that comes your way for a job … In Australian job ads, the pay, experience, qualifications are put out bluntly, so you will not have any misconceptions of your pay. My Malaysian friend, with a degree in Engineering, who applied for a job in Singapore, had his value diminished with an offer for a diploma pay at the interview …

      And dear Mr Wmulew, true that Australians are paying through their teeth for goods and services, however, the balance in economies in terms of earning power, social security, are somewhat better than little spore … (You can jolly-well make your own lunch, which only costs 4-5 Australian dollars, while you make 20 bucks an hr). A blunt example, my Nigerian friend. 19 yrs of age, is paid $15 an hr at a local (Australian) supermarket. He is able to afford 3 square meals, a gym membership, and even afford in installments his school fees for his certificate as a fitness instructor. At least, he is chasing his dream and surviving fairly decently … compared to ‘you know who’ ~ its never easy to strike a balance in gov’ence and policy, but when self-interest conflicts are involved, oh well, ‘loop-sided’, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer,

      A prime example, my professor at the university is earning 100k a yr, her husband, a crane operator and construction worker gets the same pay. So is his Boss ripping him off, while he sits in his air-con office. The crane operator, construction worker, works his dues, he has certification in safety, crane operation, construction certification in blah blah blah, and goes under the UV intensive sun everyday. His boss jolly-well pay him, he gets his profits, but not at the expense of his workers.

      • J J said

        I once asked a PRC tile layer in spore, how much he earns a day. It was 50 sing dollars. He was laying tiles at my place. My dad paid his boss abt 1800, which is inclusive of material cost, labor cost, transportation cost, etc, they were even using my water for the cement. He did the job in 4 days. Say the material cost is 500 to 800. A 1000 dollar job, the boss gets 70-80 %, the worker, less than 30 %. ~ hope you see the picture ~

      • asd said

        so the worker should earn 70% the boss should earn 30%?

      • Seraphim said

        What he is saying is that it should be equalised, For example: 30% on material, 30% for worker and 40% for boss. (it could be 10% material, 40% worker and 50% boss too)

  20. seah said

    they got lot of foreign worker waiting to take over your jod at even lower pay.dont believe resign and see

  21. OneHungLow said

    Foreigners come into Singapore on S-Pass are paid $2,000.00. Singaporeans who had been working for 6 years get less than $1,000. S-Pass holders fake their experience in their CVs as well as fake certificates. MOM is sleeping. PAP is sleeping.

  22. Kan Nin Na Chow Lan Chiau said

    Watched the documentary on Channel News Asia on 5 July about the counterfeiters in Philippines. Diplomas, Degrees, CVs, Death & Birth certificates and be bought for between US 17 – US 34. Thousands of Pinoys currently working in Singapore are holding these fake qualifications and CVs in various professions here right now. What is the government and MOM going to do about it?

  23. Kim said

    Cold Storage’s reply on ST Forum

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