27% fewer foreign worker claims at ECT in 2018 compared to 2017, why?

On 6 March 2019, Nominated Member of Parliament Anthea Ong asked the Minister of Manpower to supply figures for 2017 and 2018 respectively regarding … (a) how many salary claims were filed by (i) local employees and (ii) foreign workers at the Employment Claims Tribunal; (b) how many court orders were issued to errant employers...

Rights don’t mean squat without accessible avenues of redress

The photo is of an illuminated billboard along Bukit Batok West Avenue 3. It seeks to inform workers of their employment rights, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) the Central Provident Fund and TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices). The smaller words in the poster say: Get paid for...

Despite accident and filing an injury claim, Ayub stays in his job

By Darrell Foo, based on an interview in November 2018 Jennah Ayub Hossain registered at our Cuff Road Project in September 2018, but even so, he didn’t often come to get his free meals. On one of the few occasions when he showed up, I seize the opportunity to ask him why. “Very far coming,”...

MOM claims great effectiveness in a case when the facts point otherwise

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) responded to our 20 Feb 2019 article ‘Rahman and employer agree to settle salary claim… then nothing happens‘ with a statement on their website. That statement amplifies their ability to help, and implicitly accuses the worker of not seeking help when help was (said to be) available. The worker’s misery...

Global Compact for Migration: how far off its standards is Singapore?

The United Nations’ Global Compact for Migration (GCM) was adopted by a great majority of UN members on 10 December 2018 at a conference in Marrakech, Morocco. It was endorsed by the General Assembly on 19 December 2018, where 152 countries voted in favour. Five countries voted against — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, and...

Forced repatriation still happens — Bala’s story

On this website, we used to carry a number of stories from workers who were lucky enough to escape forced repatriation. But that was several years ago. In the last 3 or 4 years, TWC2 received far fewer such cases. This reduction in cases could mean that attempts at forced repatriation declined, thus resulting in...

How two bosses reacted to their workers filing salary claims

The same evening that volunteer Liang Lei was doing interviews for his story Why do injured workers flee company housing and do they feel safe enough to return?, two other workers came to TWC2 with housing-related woes. But their stories also shine a light on the way employers try to bully workers into submission. Borhan...

On top of injury, Muktar struggles to get a place to sleep

By Adib Rafique based on an interview in March 2019 Working in Singapore is nothing new to Md Muktar. He worked here for more than seven years from 2007 to 2014 at a shipyard. He had two more short stints working in Singapore between 2015 to 2017 before he came back again in September 2018...

The Cuff Road Project in 2018

TWC2’s Cuff Road Project (TCRP) serves the immediate needs of South Asian male migrant workers. Specifically, these are workers who are awaiting resolution of claims, complaints or investigations they’ve lodged with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), and have no access to paid work from their employers due to injury or salary problems or other disputes...

Why we didn’t help one worker

While we try to help every foreign worker who comes to TWC2 with a problem, our volunteers are realistic enough to know that some workers are not blameless. In such a situation, we modulate the help that we extend. About a month ago, a guy — let’s call him Sham (not his real name) —...