Smrt Bus Driver Strike Case Analysis

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SMRT Driver Strike

1 Our Company
Our company is a small-sized music studio providing services ranging from voiceover recording, music recording & production, post production/CD duplication & design to music production courses. The studio is located at the downtown area, which incorporates several recording rooms, function rooms and staff offices. Our team is assembled by both local and foreign talents. Staffs are assessed and rewarded based on their performances. The administration division of the company is primarily made up of local staffs. The output business depends on the professional artists in our company, most of which are foreign talents holding special visas instead of employment passes (EP). The rest of the expatriates are low-skill workers who take care of the logistic, security and orderliness of the studio, while some of them act as personal assistants to the professional artists. For the low skill expatriates, the company needs to apply work permits (WP) from CIA. Moreover, housing is provided to their convenience. Our company works towards ideas and innovation. It focuses on integrating ideas into creative media content, producing quality music that will lead the trend of the music market. Music producer and engineers are the principle part of the composition. Hence, close attention are paid to employees to boost their motivations. At the same time, the quality of the work is the key to maintain the image and reputation of the company. Therefore, work is also highlighted in the management to keep up with the booming technology and fashion trend. All in all, high people-high work leadership style [Khong, 2012] is implemented in the business function, where the professional artists are attended to and their works are examined closely. The Leadership Grid is shown in Figure 1. The (5, 5) managerial style will help the employees to achieve work life balance and assure business prosperity of the company. The managerial Grid is shown in Figure 2. (Khong, 2012)

Figure 1. The Leadership Grid

Figure 2. The Managerial Grid
Looking at the low skill expatriates, demand for their work output is high. Since their working procedures are fixed, the workers only need to perform according to their schedule and protocol repetitively. Innovation and motivation is not a major concern in this sector, hence, the management needs to draw attention to work rather than people. The service leaders need to make sure that the equipments are transported to the designed place on time, and the security and cleanness of the studio is well maintained. In short, a high work-low people leadership style needs to be implemented and a (9, 1) managerial style is applied accordingly. 2 SMRT Strike Case Study

2.1 Background
It has been reported that a mass strike conducted by Chinese bus drivers broke out on 26, Nov 2012 when about 171 SMRT bus drivers refused to report to work (Tan, 2012 November 28). Workers on strike were given an agreement to persuade them to get back to work, however, more than 60 drivers determined to stick to the strike. The strike lasted for two day and most the workers resumed to work on November 28, yet detriments are left behind. (A.F.T. 2012 November 28) Around 5% of the city bus services were disrupted during the strike, and the whole scenario needed to be scrutinized to prevent similar cases from happening again in the future. 2.2 Strike Investigation and SMRT’s Countermeasures

Singapore bear zero tolerance to strikes and other forms of industrial action. As a result, this was the first industrial strike in Singapore in 26 years. The safe and peaceful working environment had attracted numerous foreign investments. It has been reported that the main concerns of the Chinese drivers conducting the strike were: unfair wages and poor living conditions. “We work the same hours with the Malaysian drivers but we get lower pay,” said by a Chinese bus driver during the interview, “and our living...
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