After ten days in hospital, company tries to rush Mazharul onto a plane

By Janson Chang, based on an interview in June 2017 Throughout most of our conversation Islam Mazharul does not sit easy.  The two friends who accompany him do more than half the telling, during which Mazahrul does not seem to be tuning in to it himself.  It seems like he is miles away.  His nervous...

Contract substitution made easier by ministry?

Over the years, Transient Workers Count Too has seen many cases where, after arriving in Singapore to start on their jobs, migrant workers are told by their bosses that the salary stated on the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter will not be honoured. Instead they are given the choice of accepting a lower salary, or be sent...

Noor worked nine months; never paid his proper salary

By Marcus Chee, based on an interview in June 2017 Through nine months, Noor Mohammod was only given a meagre amount of $130 monthly by his employer, and the entirety of that money had to be allocated to pay a catering company so that he could get his daily meals. $130. That’s all? I sit...

“Short pants, T-shirt, like this airport how to go?”

By Sun Hanchen; based on an interview in May 2017 The TWC2 volunteer was only following TWC2’s registration protocol, as he requested Shahjahan Mahamud to pose for a simple photo for documentation purposes. Shahjahan hesitated. It was no surprise he was nervous that evening, for the treatment he received during and after his accident was nothing...

Worker had to pay $80 to get his own payslips

We shall call the worker Towhid. He was paid less than promised through several months of work. After lodging a complaint at the Ministry of Manpower, his case went before the Labour Court, which strictly speaking is an administrative tribunal within the ministry, not a judicial court. Nonetheless, one would expect the tribunal to have...

Injury compensation law vanishes on the way to the toilet

By Wahid Al Mamun, based on an interview in May 2017 What constitutes a workplace injury? This seems like an easy question to answer as I sit with Rana Md Sohel at TWC2’s meal programme. His claim seems reasonable enough – he cannot extend his left forearm fully, and there is a large scar running...

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...