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Hawkers at Our Tampines Hub jump at chance to no longer work 24/7

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Starting from January 1 of next year, the hawkers at Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre are no longer required to operate 24 hours a day. Following a review of the contract between the National Environment Agency (NEA) and social enterprise hawker center operators, every single one of the 13 stall owners at Our Tampines Hub opted out of whole day operating hours. 

“After conducting the review and feedback dialogue with the stallholders, no stallholder opted for 24-hour operation. This will take effect on Jan 1, 2019,” Vincent Cheong, Kopitiam’s corporate communications manager told TODAY.

Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre is operated by OTMH, which is the social enterprise of Kopitiam. There are a total of 42 stall owners at Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre.

Read related: Elderly hawker allegedly passed away after working 18-hour days to avoid hefty fine when NTUC Foodfare rejected appeal to shorten operating hours

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Two years ago the community had ostensibly requested for hawker stalls to be open all day and night, and the center obliged it in November of 2016. However, the expected foot traffic during the early morning hours did not happen.

According to Senior Minister of State Amy Khor and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, the arrangement between the management and hawkers will be given a second look.

The NEA has bee making several adjustments to the contractual terms for hawkers, effective January 1. Hawker centers are under the purview of the NEA, which announced a fortnight ago that stall owners at social enterprise-run hawker centers will be having more flexibility when it comes to operating hours, in addition to some other tweaks.

Today reported that the hawkers who have opted out of the 24/7 scheme are overjoyed. They will be able to save more money on power and salaries.

Fewer and fewer stall owners have chosen to stay with the 24/7 scheme, which started out at 36 and decreased to 16 by October.

Stall owners who no longer operate round-the-clock are thankful to be given more time with their families, for vacation, more freedom, and better work-life balance. From their experience, there are virtually no customers between midnight and until 8 am, when people come in for breakfast. Singapore has 114 hawker centers which are open day and night.

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