Wahed’s problem with medical leave wages had a Siamese twin

By Isaac Ong In April 2016, 36 year-old Wahed M A was in hospital recovering from a left eye surgery, hoping to return to work to support his wife and three children back home in Bangladesh. Unbeknownst to him, his worries were far from over. In the coming months, he would be refused payment for...

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TWC2 survey: starting salaries for migrant workers flatlined for the last 10 years

Starting basic salaries for first-time workers from India and Bangladesh have remained more or less static since 2006, averaging slightly under Singapore dollars 600 per month. However, when adjusted for inflation, a downward trend is seen, and thus, in terms of Singapore purchasing power, average basic salaries have declined about 20% since 2006. The above...

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How the rich get richer, the poor get poorer: Mondol’s experience

One of the major themes when analysing the current crisis of neoliberal capitalism is the way economic rent has run amuck, exacerbating the rich-poor divide. Economic rent is the profit extracted by a party who has access to a resource that others do not have and which others feel they need. That party does not...

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Looking for someone with a happy story, but found Mia Mukles

By Lim Jia Ren I wove my way through the busy crowd on Dunlop Street, doubling my pace as I lugged my bag clumsily after me, hoping not to leave the first impression of being a latecomer. Being an amateur ‘reporter’ only one session old, I was still adjusting to the unfamiliar environment of our...

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‘This is so real’: Reflections on 32 months with The Cuff Road Project

By Shona Loong It is Saturday, 17 September 2016: Tito is in tears. He is being sent home after just six months in Singapore. His boss has bought him a plane ticket for this evening. This is already an extension of sorts: three days ago, his work-permit was cancelled and he was made to board...

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MOM’s Labour Court skirted with enforcing an illegal ‘contract’

Volunteers at TWC2 were alarmed to hear from Sohel Rana, in mid July 2016, that the Assistant Commissioner of Labour presiding over his Labour Court case might be planning to rule in a manner contrary to written law. It would seriously undermine his claim and set an extremely bad precedent. Md Sohel Rana’s case had...

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This season of giving

Transient Workers Count Too was happily surprised when two unexpected donations came in in the days leading up to Christmas. Vidula (below, at left) brought a cheque for $10,000 — money she raised by baking 200 cakes and selling them to her friends and contacts. It must have been a hectic few weeks for her....

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Father injured, son’s college hopes in peril

By Poh De Sheng Perhaps the chief reason foreign workers come to Singapore is the comparatively higher salaries on offer. Men will endure the hardship of separation, crowded living conditions and abominable hours of physical labour in the hope, not just of helping their families at home get by, but of helping their children and siblings...

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Held in windowless room, Shahjahan faced forced repatriation. TWC2 rescues him

By Kimberley Ng Kept in a windowless room with three company representatives patrolling outside and the imminent threat of forced deportation looming over his head, Molla Shahjahan called TWC2 for help. At 11 on the morning of 7 June 2016, Shahjahan had just been discharged after three nights’ stay at Alexandra Hospital following a debilitating lower...

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Dr Strange, Indian food, lots of heart and money raised.

Beginning in 2012, TWC2 treated foreign workers to a nice meal at its annual fund raising event. This year, for a change, we took them to a movie. So Lunch With Heart becomes  @theMovie on Sunday 4 December 2016. The film: superhero blockbuster Dr Strange. The venue: The Projector, an independent cinema that TWC2 rented...

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