11/25/2006

slavery in singapore

Slavery in Singapore Could not believe that it is still there in modern Singapore in a disguised form. When there is liberalisation of trade, free flow of information and people and jobs, when there are laws against unfair practices in businesses, when corporate honchos cried foul in the face of unethical and immoral market practices, employees or workers are held hostage, in a way like chattels by their organisations. Over the last few weeks there were several cases of civil suits taken up by big companies against staff poaching. And it seems that this practice is not acceptable. That it is wrong to offer staff a better compensation package to join another organisation. The ruling is in favour of organisations that wanted to prevent their staff from leaving for greener pastures. Didn't workers and professionals join organisations for the lure of better remunerations and prospects? Aren't these their right to do so? Didn't the govt pay highly competitive salaries to attract super talents to join them or to prevent their staff from leaving? Are these practices against the law? Apparently it must be. Organisations are now not allowed to poach staff from their competitors. Then where is the right of workers and professionals to join another organsation freely and to be decided by them based on the terms and conditions of employment offered? The employees or professionals have their rights to be with whichever organisations they choose to be. To limit or restrict this right is a violation of their freedom of employment. They are not chattels or slaves of any organisations. No organisation has the right to own their employees or professionals in their employed, or to put barriers to prevent them from leaving against their free will. They should instead offer more competitive packages to retain their staff. This is fair competition. Otherwise, we will have slavery in modern Singapore. I have witnessed such malpractices in many places. Ban slavery in Singapore!

3 comments:

Rowen said...

If the staff signed a non-competitive agreement that he is not to join another competitor for the period of a number of years after he has left the current company, he is bonded legally by it.

The only way for him to break this agreement is for the company to sack him due to incompetance.

Therefore, If a rival company has agreed to hire you and you have decided to join the rival company, you need only to make a major error at your current job (boltch a project or make a judgemental error which causes the company to lose millions of dollars) causing your company to sack you then you can join a rival.

In another case is that if the company is retrenching you due to redudancy of your service, if they offer your any form of cash or any form of renumaration and you have an offer from a rival, refuse the renumaration or compensation and they do not have a claim on you.

Therefore redundancy and incompetance are 2 ways to break out of the system or chains of the organisation.

redbean said...

i agree with you rowen. if there is a confidentiality clause or an agreement to refrain from joining the competitor, then it can be legally binding. however such clause must be fair to both employees and employers. it cannot be a one sided agreement favouring only the employer.

the last few cases seem to be offensive because the new employers offered better terms. if that is the case, then all companies are at fault, and so do all the search companies.

no employee worth his salt will leave an organisation for a less well off package.

redbean said...

Now, where are the Search Companies, the human resource professionals and the SHRI?

Doesn't anyone of these people see any violation of the rights of employees to freedom of employment? Now it seems that several cartels have been agreed upon privately and they will inform each other if an employee seek employment in a competitor's organisation. And of course they will not take him in. And this amounts not only to a breach of confidentiality, but also a breach of trust and professionalism.

How ethical are such practices? Are we going to condone these when we are shouting our voice hoarse for more transparency, globalisation, liberalisation and freedom of employment, employing foreigners etc?