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China expresses concern over bus driver protest in Singapore


09:05, November 30, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Thursday urged proper handling of a no-show protest by Chinese bus drivers working in Singapore and called for protecting the legal rights and interests of the Chinese nationals working overseas.

A statement quoted an unnamed MOC official as saying the ministry is very concerned about the pay dispute and hopes all parties actively respond to the legitimate demands of Chinese bus drivers for equal pay and treatment.

Some 171 Chinese drivers with Singapore public transport operator SMRT did not report to work on Monday over a recent pay rise that saw their fellow workers from Malaysia getting a larger increase.

All the drivers had returned to work as of Wednesday and their demands are being tackled, the official was quoted as saying.

The government has always required Chinese nationals working under contracts overseas to follow local laws and regulations and express their needs through normal channels, said the official.

China had about 880,000 contract workers abroad at the end of October. A total of 353,000 were dispatched between January and October this year, 3,000 fewer than in the same period of last year, MOC data show.

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