In SMRT fatal accident, the buck stopped well short

There was a tragic accident on the tracks of SMRT in March. As if that tragedy wasn’t bad enough, SMRT management decided to create another tragedy by sacking the two staff members, one of whom is the driver of the train involved in the accident.

There isn’t much about the other staff member who was sacked. Not sure what his position in SMRT was. But the driver? What the flying fuck was he sacked for?

You mean they expect the driver to brake in time to avert the tragedy? Those men weren’t even supposed to be on the tracks! Why was he made to bear such a heavy burden of responsibility for the accident? SMRT sent an email to all its staff “defending” the decision… you read for yourself and decide if the explanation was valid…

And all these even before the Coroner’s Inquiry? Isn’t the Coroner’s Inquiry supposed to be the definitive authority in determining what exactly went wrong that caused the unnatural deaths of the two SMRT staff members? If that’s the case, shouldn’t SMRT wait till the Coroner’s Inquiry is complete before deciding who should be punished?

But no.

Somehow SMRT thinks they know better. They seem to think that have it all figured out. And it seems that they think the buck ought to stop with the two staff they chose to sack. Why? You mean there weren’t any one higher up who ought to bear greater responsibility than those two staff members? I call bullshit on that.

I think those two staff members were sacked were merely the scapegoats. Someone needs to bear the responsibility. The scales of justice need to be balanced. So upper management just anyhow push some low level grunts out to die. Then hope that the public will buy that bullshit and forget all about it.

Thankfully Singaporeans are not that stupid. Some are expressing bafflement at SMRT’s actions. Then there are others who, like me, are more pissed off and vocal against what SMRT has done. Even the family of the deceased SMRT staff were shocked about the dismissals.

Currently, it seems that the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) is best placed to stand up to the upper management of SMRT. They have released a media statement on Monday that the union had submitted the appeal after reviewing the cases of the two staff.

Mr Melvin Yong, the NTWU’s executive secretary, said:

“We have raised further queries relating to the incident in our appeal to the company… (and the union would) continue to render the necessary support and assistance to the affected employees during this difficult time”

I understand that the NTWU has been in touch with the families of the victims as well as all the staff members who were identified to be involved in the incident. Well… If there’s any time for the unions to show their worth, this definitely is it.

There are rules. Safety is important. There is a time and place for punishments. But the rank and file shouldn’t be made to bear the responsibility for what seems to be a systemic issue. If the buck stops with the rank and file staff, then the buck has indeed stop well short.

[Featured Image: from TodayOnline]

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One thought on “In SMRT fatal accident, the buck stopped well short

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 21 Sep 2016 - The Singapore Daily

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