Human Resources, an established regional publication, has nominated SMRT in two categories for its Human Resources Excellence Awards 2016. The Awards are billed as “Asia’s only regional awards recognising and celebrating excellence in human capital strategy and execution, honours high-calibre practitioners and organisations which have excelled in all areas of HR.” The awards ceremony will be held in in Singapore on 9 October.
SMRT has been nominated in four categories for the Award – Excellence in Compensation & Benefits Strategy, Excellence in Employee Healthcare, Excellence in Learning & Development and Employer of the Year. Some netizens are surprised that SMRT has been nominated for these human resources awards.
SMRT workers Nasrulhudin Najumudin (26) and Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari (24) were hit by a train near Pasir Ris MRT station on 22 Mar when they were on the track to investigate a technical fault. SMRT Corp has admitted that a failure to follow safety measures before allowing a work team onto train tracks had “directly” caused the accident which killed two of its employees.
On 14 Sep, SMRT sacked two employees involved in the fatal train track accident on March 22, with one of them being the driver of the train which caused the deaths.
In a letter to its employees, SMRT said that the dismissals were part of its response to tighten safety and accountability throughout the organisation. It further said that its disciplinary process was fair, thorough, comprehensive and in strict accordance with its established Fact Finding framework which included the presence of Union representatives.
Netizens have lambasted SMRT’s decision to fire the staff. Many have voiced that they feel that the sacked staff are being scapegoated (https://theindependent.sg/netizens-lambast-smrt-for-sacking-staff-involved-in-pasir-ris-accident) for the public transport operator’s lapses.
A relative of one of the victims of the fatal train track accident also expressed shock at hearing the news of the dismissals. Mr Nasrifudin Najumudin (33), eldest brother of Nasrulhudin and a civil servant said: “I can only say that we were shocked when we heard the news, we didn’t expect it. He could be the breadwinner of the family, so we are also sad for him.”
Two days ago PAP MP and National Transport Workers’ Union’s (NTWU) executive secretary, Melvin Yong, said that the Union has submitted an appeal to SMRT management against the dismissal of two SMRT staff over a fatal accident.
Mr Yong said: “We have raised further queries relating to the incident in our appeal to the company.” Adding that while they wait for SMRT’s response, the Union would “continue to render the necessary support and assistance to the affected employees during this difficult time.”