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...

TWC2 submits proposals for improving Singapore’s Employment Act

The Singapore government invited submissions for proposed amendments to the Employment Act. TWC2 made a proposal centred on five areas which will benefit the most number of workers.  As our submission makes clear, TWC2’s proposed amendments are envisioned to support all employees in Singapore. Even if some of our ideas are of particular importance to...

Employer sent to jail, worker’s compensation still unpaid. Is this good enough?

Suriakumar Ridgeway Ramaiah, will be serving jailtime for failing to pay injury compensation to a worker. Strictly speaking, the sole proprietor of Ridgeway Marine and Construction, was fined $21,000 on 16 November 2016 for failing to buy work injury insurance for his workers, and for not paying compensation when so ordered, but having defaulted on these, he was...