Employers owe hospitals money; workers’ treatment at risk

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in May 2017 Undoubtedly, Singapore can boast of a world-leading healthcare system that offers high quality medical treatment for a wide range of injuries, diseases and emergencies. Unfortunately, timely and trouble-free access to such services is frequently lacking for our foreign labor, when injuries occur at work. I speak to...

Blackmail attempt at airport

Here’s an account of an incident at Changi airport as a TWC2 volunteer accompanied Nagelli Mahendar Reddy to see him off. By Silvester Goh Last night, 29 June 2017, I accompanied injured worker Nagelli Mahender Reddy to Terminal 2 to catch his flight home to India. Flight TZ502 to Chennai was scheduled to depart at 10:45pm. Check-in...

Employer demands worker return to work. Worker says he’s not well enough. Who’s right?

By Wahid Al Mamun, based on an interview in May 2017 Dipangka (not his real name) is of slight frame and voice. He shifts around gingerly on the plastic seat at TWC2’s free meals programme. As I endeavour to coax the story of his injury out of him, I come to learn of a mutual misunderstanding...

Sukranjan’s case drags beyond 12 months. How is he to survive?

By Troy Lee, based on an interview in May 2017 On the Ministry of Manpower’s website, it is stated that most work injury claims take “3 to 6 months for most cases. Some injuries may need more time to stabilise before a doctor can assess for permanent incapacity.” However, many of the cases that come to...

Two men thinking of home

By Sun Hanchen Every day, tens of thousands of foreign workers begin their day in the wee hours of the morning. They are employed to do blue-collar work shunned by Singaporeans – construction, maintenance and transport amongst others – and are often treated as faceless economic factors. But they have families, and it is in...

Job prematurely ended, Mollah Sharif facing debt collectors in three days

By Bill Poorman All he needs is some more time. Not forever. “One week, two week, three week,” Mollah Sharif Hossain says. Instead, he got only three days. Three days to save his life. It’s a Monday evening at TWC2’s free meals programme. Just yesterday, Mollah Sharif and his co-worker, Rafique (who goes by one name),...

Kamroul waiting months for MRI, not allowed to work, no income

By Sun Hanchen Hasan Kamroul was a marine trades worker, working at Benoi Shipyard. 7 December 2016 was supposed to be just another normal work night for him, but all changed several hours into his shift. Having been tasked to move some 26-inch pipes with two of his fellow workers, Kamroul set about doing his...

The Everglory scam: productivity incentive shot to pieces

This is a story of how one branch of the government undermines what another branch is trying to do. Low productivity in the construction industry has been a concern for years. Among the measures being tried is a push to get construction companies to have higher-skilled or more experienced workers. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA),...

The rough seas of debt

In an earlier story[1], Liang Lei has sketched the origins of Sikder Sumon’s salary case and the long time it took at the Ministry of Manpower. Here, Edgar Chan adds a bit more detail about the MOM process and discusses the wider context By Edgar Chan On the evening of 25 May 2017, at Isthana...

Sumon’s salary case stretched for five months, exhausting his ability to fight for his full amount

By Liang Lei “I tired already”, was Sumon’s reply to why he chose not to continue pursuing his case, despite a settlement that will only entitle him to S$11,000. That’s half of the amount he believes is owed to him by his employer. Sumon has not seen his family for six years since his move to...