TWC2 participates in country review of Bangladesh at the United Nations in Geneva

Transient Workers Count Too was represented at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Bangladesh government’s handling of migrant worker issues came under scrutiny. Specifically, Bangladesh’s governance was reviewed against its commitments to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families. Bangladesh ratified this convention in August...

No work, no money, no food

By Bill Poorman “No work.” Those were the worst possible words that Masud could have heard. Like all foreign workers, he had come to Singapore to put in long hours and make a better life. In Singapore, he could earn a higher income than in his home country of Bangladesh. But when he arrived here in September of...

Cheating agents and sleeping agencies

By Jean Law Debesh* is going back to Bangladesh after a mere four months working in Singapore. He is leaving much poorer than if he had not come at all.  This is because his money was taken from him in an illegal transaction that was not brought to justice. He tried to get the police...

68% of construction workers work illegally long hours

Over two-thirds (68%) of foreign construction workers work so much overtime that their total monthly overtime hours would breach the legal maximum of 72 overtime hours a month. Of these, one in three (23%) worked twelve and a half hours or more in a single day — which also violates the legal daily maximum of 12...

Worker can’t get surgery; everything’s a bureaucratic mess

By Namgay Choden Hasan Mohammad Suman’s left thumb was injured December 2016 when it was jammed between steel bars at his worksite. It is late February now as I speak with him. He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow at Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Jurong East. However, for the surgery to go ahead, he has to present...

From a complicated injury case, a simple truth

By Long Yiou As a rookie interviewer, I feel that Hossain Mohammad Alamgir’s injury case is far more complicated than the storyline of the movie Inception. Though he has only been in Singapore for two years — he came in August 2014 — Hossain has had two injury disputes with three different companies. The interview hits...

When a case is “resolved”, what does that mean?

By Sean Yee In Parliament on 6 February 2017, Manpower minister Lim Swee Say said, “MOM received about 9,000 salary-related claims involving some 4,500 employers in 2016. So, 9,000 claims; 4,500 employers. Through mediation by MOM and adjudication by the Labour Court, we have been able to resolve more than 95% of these claims.” This...

Construction worker says he was asked to repair taxi gearbox

Singapore is so short of labour that a well-known taxi company has been relying on construction workers to run its vehicle workshops. They are asked to clean the taxis, but also “do gearbox repair,” says Uddin Jashim, 31, a former worker there. Your writer asks him, with some concern, “Do you know how to repair...

“My medicine all throw away,” says Miah Zilu

By Andy Lee It  was just another ordinary day in January 2017 for Miah Zilu, working in a shipyard, when he fell down the ladder with a 16kg load. He was immediately sent to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. At the hospital, the doctor curiously asked why he still had not booked an MRI scan. The...

Donation campaign a huge success, distribution of 3G phones begins

42 delighted men received 3G phones from Transient Workers Count Too 21 March 2017. It was the first of a series of phone distribution events that has been planned in advance of the cessation of 2G signals throughout Singapore on 1 April 2017. The remaining batches of eligible migrant workers will be getting their 3G phones over...