Some workers get to cook, others have to put up with bad catered food

By Seah Bei Ying Most of us have seen some Bangladeshi workers having their packed lunches in void decks in heartland areas. Where the lunch come from? Did they buy curry and rice from the nearby coffee shop for their everyday meals? If yes, then how much did their costs come to? These are fleeting thoughts that...

Foreign workers chained by debt, governments have a moral duty to act

By Kimberley Ng In recent years, Singapore’s slowing economy has meant fewer construction and marine sector jobs for migrant workers. What few might realise is that recruitment costs have risen prohibitively through the same period.  The two are not unrelated: it is a matter of demand for work outstripping supply of jobs. Unfortunately neither the...

Reflections: Access to medical care

Most interns who spend 6 – 9 weeks with TWC2 are asked to wrap up their internship with an essay on a specific topic. Nikie spent May to July 2016 with us assisting with casework and the Labour Court Research Project. In the process, she came across many foreign workers who had difficulty getting the medical...

Reflections: Housing and sustenance for Special Pass men

Most interns who spend 6 – 9 weeks with TWC2 are asked to wrap up their internship with an essay on a specific topic. Moe spent April and May 2016 with us assisting with casework and the Cuff Road Project. In the process, he came across many foreign workers who had lost their jobs either...

Islam Mahabub, injured, unable to work, fears for his children

Video by Nicole Ng, text by Colin Ng, with contributions by Alex Au For most construction workers like Islam Mahabub, a job here comes at a hefty price. Based on casual reports collected by TWC2 from among the thousands of workers we see each year, the cost of a job can range from $2,000 to as...

One in three foreign workers still not getting itemised payslips

Of over 500 Indian and Bangladeshi workers surveyed recently by Transient Workers Count Too, one in three reported that they were not getting itemised payslips from their employers. This represents quite a high degree of non-compliance with the Ministry of Manpower’s new rule that took effect 1 April 2016. The survey reached a total of...

Foreign domestic workers’ living conditions survey – full results

  Transient Workers Count Too found that 5% of foreign domestic workers had to share their sleeping space with a male teenager or adult. This is against written law, with a possible fine of up to $10,000. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) confirmed this when the ministry responded to a query by the Straits Times....

Another source of trouble for workers: their own lawyers

In the above video, Rashid Harun explains why he discharged his lawyer. He had suffered a workplace injury and engaged a lawyer for his WICA compensation claim. His employer argued that the accident did not take place at work but that he fell while he was in a lavatory (at the worksite). His case was...

The Cuff Road Project: how many men? how many meals?

The Cuff Road Project[i] (TCRP) serves many purposes. For starters, it fills the bellies of a large number of men who aren’t permitted to work under the terms of their Special Pass, or because of action taken by their employer to prevent them from working. Most of the men have filed a work injury claim...

Research series: Recruitment costs

The great majority of transnational migrant workers pay money in order to obtain jobs in other countries. The charges are often exorbitant. Most of the money goes to middlemen: agents in their own country or in destination countries, local recruiters and training centres (which often function as middlemen institutions). Some money may also be paid...