Neither here nor there: ‘Supply worker’ predicaments

By Sun Hanchen, based on an interview in November 2017 When most of us apply for a job, we have expectations that the job scope will be related to our field of education or training, and that we will have some knowledge of the people whom we will be working with. It goes beyond expectations...

Hossain Sabuj tells us who got rich from his working in Singapore

By Tristan Powell-Odden, based on an interview in January 2018 Hossain Sabuj, like many other migrant workers, had a dream: To open a clothing store that re-sold American brands in Bangladesh, his home country. To raise the needed capital, he would work for a few years overseas. However, because of the exorbitant amounts of money...

“In Singapore, worker is nothing”

By Philomène Franssen based on an interview in January 2018 Those words in the headline I quote from Nazrul, a disillusioned worker currently waiting for the court hearing that will handle his salary claim. Freshly arrived in Singapore in 2007 with the hope to make a decent living in order to provide for his family...

Confidence-destroying interactions with doctors leave Shamim with little trust in compensation system

  By Alston Ng, based on an interview in January 2018 In the midst of casual conversations with some usual faces at Alankar Restaurant, Hossen Mohammed Shamim, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi who has not worked for about a year and a half, interjects, “You want interview? Come, I give you interview, you help me.” Evidently not...

Two injured workers provide detailed accounts of a law firm’s practices

This is a long record (approximately 2,800 words) of what two foreign workers told TWC2 about their experiences with the same law firm. They had engaged the law firm following worksite accidents, but were soon unhappy with the relationship. Both workers either experienced or heard that representatives of the law firm made unsolicited and unwelcome contact...

Mohan feels more secure having a lawyer for his injury claim

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in December 2017 What is the role of a lawyer? While we struggle to form an encompassing definition of the profession, our foreign workers seem to have a fixed perception of them as their all-knowing protector. At TWC2, the vast majority of injured workers would already have engaged...

Eager to go home after 15 jobless months

By Aaron Chua, based on an interview in December 2017 Just look at this!”, Alex exclaims, holding up one of the meal cards that are issued by TWC2 to workers in need. The surprise: The date of injury — 20 September 2016. It has been 15 months since. The card belongs to Hossain Muhammad Arif,...

Crash! Bang! Boss hears windfall from the heavens

Martin* was on his second day at his new job. He was employed as a construction worker, but he had let his boss know that he held a Singapore driving licence. His boss asked him to drive a lorry. Martin hit another car; the lorry suffered scratches. Thankfully, no one was injured. Some days later,...

Shariful’s case shows how injury leads to poorer housing

By Tristan Powell-Odden, based on an interview in December 2017 Despite being in pain from an injury, Shariful had to look for new accommodation and worry about how to pay for it. Housing issues shouldn’t have to complicate an injured worker’s life, but they do. Shariful’s job was to blast paint from steel surfaces of...

Ratan waited three years before filing a salary complaint – why so long?

By Nicholas Lee, based on an interview in October 2017 The promise of a higher salary and a better life — this is the main reason why most foreign workers leave their families and the familiarity of their home come to Singapore to work. But what if after taking on debts to pay agent fees...