NTUC Foodfare denies report late worker appealed against long hours, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NTUC Foodfare denies report late worker appealed against long hours

This article is more than 12 months old

NTUC Foodfare has denied a report that a stall owner who died of heart failure - allegedly after working 18-hour days - had appealed to the social enterprise to have his hours shortened.

An elderly hawker who owned two stalls at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 food court died after falling ill on Feb 19 this year.

He has been identified only as Mr Fong by the company.

On Monday, socio-political website The Independent published an article claiming it had been informed by a reader that Mr Fong had been working long hours to avoid being fined by his employers, after an appeal to shorten his working time was rejected.

The report said he had been warned that he would be fined $500 for each day the stalls were closed, which led to him running them alone.

In a Facebook post yesterday, NTUC Foodfare called the report "inaccurate and misleading", saying it put together "several untruths".

In a media statement, it said: "We would like to clarify that we have never received any request or appeal from the owner of stalls six and seven to shorten operating hours."

NTUC Foodfare also said it has waived the contract pre-termination penalty for Mr Fong's stalls due to his death.

"We have been in contact with Mr Fong's son, and he is aware we are processing the refund of the security deposit, sales proceeds and return of equipment," it added.

NTUC Foodfare said it understood from Mr Fong's son the family did not contact any online media outlet.

The Independent article was shared more than 4,600 times.

It came as Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng said the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) had been notified of a proposed acquisition of Kopitiam and its subsidiaries by NTUC Enterprise, which oversees NTUC Foodfare.

Dr Tan, who was responding to questions about the takeover, said the CCCS is assessing the transaction.