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The Cuff Road Food Programme is Transient Workers Count Too’s signature project. It provides free meals to migrant workers six days a week when they are injured or otherwise out of work and destitute. It also offers an important contact point between the organisation and those in need of help. Workers not only get nourishment, they get a consultation about their cases and a friendly ear.
In 2013, we served 105,553 meals, a 3.7 percent increase over the 101,819 meals served the previous year. By the end of 2013, we have served 467,720 meals since the project began in March 2008.
The first chart shows the number of meals TWC2 served each week through 2013. The lowest week was the second week of September when we served 1,402 meals. The highest was the third week of June, with 2,503 meals. We averaged 2,030 meals a week through 2013.
Click the chart for a larger version.
Each month, we re-register all our participants. Thus, the first table below shows the total registered each month — which would include both new cases and cases that have registered with us previously, but are still around because their cases have not yet been resolved. Naturally, cases that have been concluded and the men gone home, would not re-register the subsequent month.
The second table shows only new, first-time registrants. Last year (2013), 2,202 new registrants signed up with the Cuff Road Project. This is a 1.7 percent increase over the 2,165 new registrants in 2012. However, in 2013, a larger proportion of registrants were injury cases — 81.3 percent, compared with 70.3 percent in 2012. Thus, the number of new injury cases coming to us in 2013 was 17.6 percent higher last year (1,791 cases in 2013, compared with 1,523 the previous year). This is not a good trend.
See also the related post, At the Cuff Road Project, injury cases more than doubled 2013 over 2011.
The next most common category (about 24 percent) is broadly described as “Company cases”, a shorthand that TWC2 uses to indicate that the source of a worker’s difficulty is the behaviour of his employer. Within this term there is considerable variety, including:
The length of the above list simply illustrates the wretched fact that TWC2 has seen companies use every which way to cheat.
The above tables are shown graphically below:
Click for a larger version:
In the case of injured workers, each month we record how long it has been since their injury. Because we re-register participants (at least who are still in Singapore) for meal cards each month, the same man may appear over several bars (months). The bars should not be totalled together; it wouldn’t make any sense.
Do note however, that the Y-axis does not go down to zero in the chart below:
What the pattern in the above chart shows is that in a typical month,
They show how lengthy the process of physical recovery and injury compensation can be.
It should also be noted that the Work Injury Compensation Act sets a cut-off at 12 months for medical leave wages and medical expenses. These men whose cases extend beyond 12 months are therefore bereft of medical care and income support.
TWC2 is an organization that is dedicated to assisting low-wage migrant workers when they are in difficulty. We are motivated by a sense of fairness and humanity, though our caseload often exceeds our