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5 bus captains file lawsuits against SBS Transit over overtime pay dispute

MAINBOARD-LISTED SBS Transit has confirmed that it had been served a writ of summons on Monday by Carson Law Chambers on behalf of five bus captains in a dispute over uncompensated hours and duties.

The Straits Times first reported on Tuesday that the five captains claimed SBS Transit had breached the terms of their contracts by not compensating them according to the prescribed rates of pay for work done on their rest days, public holidays and days off.

They also claimed that they were not compensated for working night shift and for time spent performing "first parade" and "last parade" tasks. These include checking the condition of their buses before a shift, and refuelling and parking the buses at the end of a work day.

In a statement to The Business Times on Wednesday, Tammy Tan, SBS Transit's senior vice-president, corporate communications, said the company "intends to defend against all allegations vigorously".

The five bus captains comprise one Singaporean and four Malaysians who have been working for SBS Transit for between three and eight years.

They also made other complaints similar to those of eight other SBS Transit bus captains - three Singaporeans and five Malaysians - who separately filed lawsuits against the company last year. These include complaints that they were underpaid for overtime work done and that they had to work for more than a week without a rest day.

The latest round of lawsuits was filed in the Singapore State Courts last Friday. All 13 drivers are represented by lawyer M Ravi of Carson Law Chambers.

Shares of SBS Transit, which is controlled by ComfortDelGro, were down S$0.02 or 0.6 per cent at S$3.26 as at 11.27am.