The price of a job

TWC2’s latest research takes a detailed look at recruitment costs borne by female domestic workers in Singapore. Based on a survey of 232 workers conducted in early 2016, the study reveals how much they paid, to whom, and how many months’ of salary deductions these payments represented. It also gathered their opinions as to what...

A note to students

TWC2 receives numerous requests from students embarking on project work, or fulfilling other school requirements. While we are pleased that students are keen to find out more about migrant workers and to devise projects to make positive changes in their lives, we find that students often approach TWC2 with preconceived assumptions about the problems that...

The name of the devil is process: how regulatory process creates and sustains the disempowerment and injustices faced by migrant labour

For a few years now, Transient Workers Count Too has been asked to give a talk to journalists gathered at the annual Asia Journalism Fellowship. The following videos are adapted from the talk that Alex Au gave on 8 September 2016.  There were about 20 journalists in TWC2’s Dayspace, from various Asian countries, Pakistan to...

Extend subsidised Zika testing to foreign workers

Our press release made it into the Straits Times 7 September 2016 (imaged above) — Statement for the media: Transient Workers Count Too urges the Ministry of Health to rethink the exclusion of subsidised testing for foreign workers who may be infected with the Zika virus. The Ministry announced yesterday that Singaporeans and Permanent Residents...

Foreign workers hit badly by zika and dengue: better housing needed

One of the most striking facts coming out of the currently ongoing zika virus outbreak in Singapore is that the initial cases seemed to have been concentrated at one construction site in the Sims Drive area. Of the first 41 confirmed cases, 36 were workers at the Sims Oasis project (pictured above). Within a week...

TWC2 calls for better protection for domestic workers to commemorate the adoption of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention (C189).

16 June 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the adoption of ILO’s Domestic Workers Convention (C189) which sets international standards of decent work for domestic workers. The C189 is currently in force in 21 countries[1] (International Labour Organization, n.d.). The adoption of C189 is significant because it ensures that the same basic labour rights that...

Low wages a factor in injuries, deaths at work

There has been a series of news reports and opinion pieces about work safety in the light of the fact that in the first four months of 2016, there have been 28 workplace fatalities, six more compared to the same period last year. Twelve are from the construction sector and five are from the marine sector....

Stop work orders for safety violation: Ensure workers don’t end up paying the price

On 13 May 2016, a report in the Straits Times said that “Companies found lacking in workplace safety and health standards will now face stiffer penalties, including a longer minimum period in which they have to stop work.” “Stop-work orders will now last at least three weeks, up from two previously. Companies slapped with a...

Forced repatriation can lead to death, needs to be addressed

Three recent posts here at this site demonstrate that employers continue to try to forcibly repatriate foreign workers, despite workers having unresolved salary claims or untreated injuries. This practice inflicts a great injustice on them. The failure of the authorities to stop it can only lead to speculation about conscious neglect. Mark Lamb has an eye-witness account of...

Bureaucrats close eyes, fold arms as worker’s salary slashed

Prabhu was unhappy about his boss’ tactics that reduced his earnings, and came to us in March 2016 seeking advice. For over a year, the construction company that employed him didn’t have enough work to keep all its employees occupied. Management (sort of) rostered the workers, such that in each month, there would be several...