Some days the skies are clear and problems float away

“Migrant workers volunteer to clean Pasir Ris beach on Saturday” said the headline in the Straits Times, 17 October 2018. Indeed, that’s what a large group of TWC2 clients did, led by Irene Ong and Marcel Bandur, joint leaders of our Discover Singapore team. This team organises activities for the workers under our care every...

To encash two cheques, Raju had to jump through hoops

For a long, long time, TWC2 has been calling for electronic payment of salaries to be made mandatory. Giving employers the option to pay in cash allows all sorts of abuses to happen and seriously disadvantages workers when salary is not paid or only partially paid. Workers are left with no evidence as to how...

Protected: Baseline report for Singapore’s signing of Global Compact on Migration

On 10 December 2018, Singapore is expected to join nearly all other member States of the United Nations in adopting the the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). Transient Workers Count Too applauds Singapore’s decision to sign the agreement. We believe that it signifies our country’s commitment to international cooperation, transparent regulation of migration, and both...

Does MOM pay work injury lawyers?

By Debbie Fordyce Does the Ministry of Manpower pay lawyers to handle work injury compensation claims? “Lawyers always exciting to take case.” At least some injured workers certainly think that MOM does. They say that they’ve heard that MOM pays lawyers $300 a month to file and manage work injury compensation (WIC) claims. Newly injured...

Recruitment cost in some cases about 20 times monthly salary

In this article “$” represents the Singapore Dollar unless we specifically say otherwise, e.g.”US$”. It’s been some time since we last wrote about recruitment costs. It’s not a topic we should lose sight of. No progress is being made on this front, and high costs remain the chief reason why migrant workers cannot exert their...

Paid for job. No salary. Pay again for new job?

By Ada Cheong, based on an interview in September 2018 Miah Younose takes his arm off the table and leans back into his chair, laughing to make light of his predicament. Unpaid for four months and bearing the sunken cost of $4,800 in agent fees, he is desperate to remain in Singapore to find new...

Transfer jobs for salary claimants and a minister’s bureaucratese

For several months in late 2017 and early 2018, we puzzled over a statement by the then-Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say that in the first half of 2017, only about 600 of foreign workers with salary claims indicated that they wished to find new employment (see footnote 1). We felt that 600 was an...

Durzey finds hospital bills unpaid, his belongings thrown into trash bin

By Megan Tan Min Chih, based on an interview in August 2018 Durzey did his best to remain calm after the call. It was a harrowing few minutes, in which he could barely make out what the hospital staff on the other end of the phone was trying to communicate. Eventually, he understood the gist...

Chand gets ready to prove he’s been injured in an accident

By Koh Jie Min, based on an interview in August 2018 Seeing Chand’s well-groomed face and clean clothes, it is hard to believe that he has been alone and out of a job in Singapore for ten months. Despite having been involved in a workplace accident in July 2017, his work injury compensation claim has...

Kader snared by the barbs of bureaucratic absurdities

By Darren Tan, based on an interview in August 2018 By July 2018, Munshi Kader was reaching the end of his temporary job with a chemical factory in the Pioneer district of Singapore. He had worked two six-month stints at this factory, and the boss liked him enough to want to retain him permanently. “MOM...