Image credit: Photo by kfcatles on a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence, from flickr.com/photos/42407623@N05/4590350243
On 17 Sep, three workers were overcome by toxic gas when preparing a pipeline for maintenance works on Jurong Island, suffering injuries. One of the workers, a 30-year-old Indian national, passed away on 22 Sep. SGCR stands in solidarity with the workers, and calls for full transparency to ensure that those responsible are held to account.
As we have learnt from the recent Parti Liyani court case, migrant and low-wage workers are often in precarious situations where they cannot afford to lose their jobs, and thus seldom have the opportunity or means to fight for their rights and well-being. At the moment, only TOC and TNP have published stories on this incident. We ask that the MOM publicly share the results of its investigation when it is complete, along with its follow-up steps.We cannot let this incident be swept under the rug.
Accidents such as these remind us that the fossil fuels that power our economy, while often invisible to us, are highly hazardous and directly harm the workers who service it. This should also be a sober reminder that the people who help build and sustain our country are often the least protected, and even valued. Not only should we seriously rethink the need for such a high-risk industry, but we should also reflect on how we are compensating our workers for their labour.
It is imperative that we take the necessary action to not only transition to a greener economy, but also safeguard everyone’s livelihoods in the process. Fossil fuel workers, many of whom are migrants in precarious positions, must be supported and empowered as we shift into a decarbonised world.