Rashadul goes home with only pocket change

Based on an interview in April 2018 Despite giving us a broad smile, Rashadul’s life has changed for the worse. For example, his broken knee means he will never be able to squat again. The best he can do now is to kneel on his one good knee, which at least is good enough to...

“Justice for foreign workers benefits Singaporean workers too,” says TWC2 President

In a commentary piece carried on Channel NewsAsia on 21 June 2018, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress Patrick Tay wrote of the significance of a recent High Court judgement in favour of Bangladeshi worker Hasan Shofiqul — which had been earlier been reported prominently by the Straits Times (header pic). Patrick Tay...

When court orders are worthless: the Zach Engineering case

Longform by Gautam Joseph with contribution by Choo Wai Hong  Timeline Dec 2014 Two workers at Zach Engineering summarily dismissed after employer has disagreement with Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Mar – Jun 2015 Two workers rehired by Zach Engineering, three other Bangladeshi workers join. Oct 2015 Fifteen workers paid only food allowance. Indian workers fight...

Jaynal lost his case at ECT; was the tribunal’s decision sound?

On 19 October 2017, Abedin Md Jaynal spent virtually the whole day in the Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT) arguing his case. By the close of the day, it was over, and he had lost. The magistrate dismissed his salary claim. Jaynal told TWC2 that the magistrate was actually sympathetic to his side of the case,...

48 Nihal workers left high and dry, and MOM’s ‘softly, softly’ role

None of the workers has gotten any real satisfaction. Nada. Worse yet, it was hardly an unusual case; it’s becoming all too common for migrant workers to be left high and dry after their employers fail to pay the agreed salaries and the Ministry of Manpower’s dispute resolution system either grinds too slowly, or grinds...

MOM says Singapore’s workplace injury reporting criteria are “aligned to international practices”

Member of Parliament Louis Ng put in an oral question for oral answer on 19 February 2018, on the topic of injury reporting. Sam Tan, the Minister of State for Manpower replied on behalf of the minister. Nominated Member of Parliament K Thanaletchimi also contributed a supplementary question during the debate. See too TWC2’s comment...

Singapore needs to relook foreign labour, says Finance Minister

The inflow of foreign workers must remain “well-calibrated” to encourage firms to continue improving productivity, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. This was reported in Today newspaper on 18 April 2018.  “We need to maintain that calibration in order to send a very strong signal that productivity improvement is going to be key, and investing...

Employment Claims Tribunal handled 1,190 cases in first year of operations

Marking the first anniversary of the new system for salary disputes, the State Courts issued a media statement on 24 April 2018 providing some statistics about the cases they handled during the first twelve months. From 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT), a unit within the State Courts, saw...

On average, injured workers with TWC2 wait eleven months for compensation

The typical worker who is with TWC2’s Cuff Road Project has waited nearly six months since his workplace accident. Yet he is still some distance from the conclusion of his Work Injury Compensation (Wica) claim. Typically, this worker is still in the first of four phases: getting medical treatment or simply waiting for an assessment...

Exploitative law firms: systemic solutions needed from MOM

In late March 2018, a short while after this article Two injured workers provide detailed accounts of a law firm’s practices was published, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) asked for the names of the workers and law firms involved. Transient Workers Count Too declined to provide this information. As the details of that story indicated, the...