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Singapore deports Chinese bus drivers after protest

Singapore has deported 29 Chinese bus drivers and criminally charged five others for staging the country's first strike in 26 years.

Last week, 171 drivers recruited from China participated in a walkout over pay and living conditions.

The incident has thrown scrutiny on the city-state's policies on foreign, low-skilled labour.

Beijing has said it is concerned about the arrest of its nationals.

On Monday, one of the men will face criminal charges under laws that prohibit against workers from initiating, continuing or participating in illegal strikes. Four men were charged last week.

Strikes are illegal in Singapore for workers in essential services, unless the employer is given 14 days notice.

Authorities said in a statement on Saturday that the work permits of 29 other drivers would be revoked, followed by their deportation. None of the men were identified.

No more charges or deportations are expected, the statement said.

The strike, which involved drivers for state-controlled SMRT, was the first major labour action in the city state since 1986.

BBC News

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