SINGAPORE: Earlier in the week, Wake Up, Singapore reported that numerous employees of Stickies Bar have not been paid their wages on time. While some have not received their most recent salaries, none have gotten their CPF contributions since November of last year.

On Jan 15, the chain closed two outlets at Aljunied and Keng Cheow Street and dismissed about one-fifth of its workers. More layoffs are expected to occur by the end of the month.

While it was originally reported that the remaining two outlets are still operational, the most recent developments mean that only the one at Dhoby Ghaut is still open and the one at Sunset Lane has closed down as well.

On Jan 22, at least 37 Stickies workers filed claims with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and TADM said in a joint statement.

Read related: “Or we declare bankruptcy now and nobody gets anything” – Stickies Bar shuts outlets and fires employees; Workers file claims with MOM over unpaid salaries and CPF

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“TADM has concurrently referred the matter to MOM for investigations on possible breaches of the Employment Act,” the agencies told CNA.

The authorities said they have been “working closely to provide affected employees with assistance, including helping them with their salary recovery and linking them up with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) if they require employment facilitation.”

Messages from employees of the bar – which is known for serving inexpensive drinks such as S$1.50 Soju shots – appealing to Stickies’ bosses Norman Then and Sino Chong, have also been shared online.

The company is at least S$200,000 in debt, CNA reported.

Mr Then, Stickies Bar’s CEO, is said to have promised to pay employees what they’re owed on Jan 8. When this did not happen, he said he would pay up on Jan 15, the same day that two of the outlets were shuttered.

The employees who were owed money did not receive their pay on that date either.

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In a Telegram group chat, he allegedly wrote, “We understand how you all feel. But if we don’t work and bring in sales, then we can’t pay everyone. So please help us help you.”

Mr Then is also quoted in a Vulcan Post article as saying, “Stickies is determined to do right by all stakeholders and we hope to have the public’s support by their patronage at our outlet that is still running at Stickies at our Dhoby Ghaut outlet.”

He told CNA on the afternoon of Jan 25 (Thursday) that Stickies has engaged the devices of an interim judicial manager Mr Farooq Mann of Mann & Associates.

This had been done in order to “protect the going concerns of the business and to look out for the best interest of all the creditors including the staff”. /TISG