Under the “NTUC Foodfare” brand, NTUC took over the management of 5 existing hawkers from the National Environment Agency.
One of those hawker centres is the Old Airport Road Food Centre.
Several hawkers there have voiced their anger at what’s reportedly a 40 percent increase in dishwashing fees by NTUC Foodfare.
This is apparently one of many issues that hawkers have to contend with at NTUC-run hawker centres or other Social Enterprise Hawker Centres compared to the conventional NEA-operated hawker centres.
At NTUC-run Pasir Ris Hawker Centre, which opened in January this year, 10 tenants have since gave up their lease.
Over at the Tampines Hub Social Enterprise Hawker Centre, which is run by Kopitiam (which has since been bought over by NTUC), hawkers complain of regulations stipulated in their contracts which demand that they open for 24hrs a day or forfeit their off-days for the month.
Hawkers say that is a waste of time as there is no business at night.
One hawker who operates a Muslim food stall says that on a good night he gets about 3 customers from midnight till daybreak.
Another hawker who operates a noodle stall said:
“We’ve tried this (opening 24hrs a day) for 2 years already. Business is not good. I hope the management can review the policy of making stalls open 24hrs a day and leave it to hawkers to decide what is in their best interest.”
Social Enterprise Hawker Centres have come under fire of late after media reports exposed the high monthly costs imposed on hawkers by operators above basic rent.
Among these costs, a 20 cents levy for the return of trays by patrons which costs hawkers up to S%900 a month.