Fees for application, issuance and renewal of work passes to increase on 1 April 2013

Administrative fees for work passes will be increased on 1 April 2013, announced the Ministry of Manpower on 10 January 2013. Below is the annex to the ministry’s announcement providing a table of charges before and after: While employers of Work Permit holders are supposed to bear administrative fees for application, issuance and renewal, the...

TWC2 makes submissions to MOM on amendments to Employment Act

The Ministry of Manpower invited public responses to a consultation paper re amendments to the Employment Act. The closing date was 11 January 2013. Transient Workers Count Too submitted a list of proposals. Click here to see our letter in pdf format. Our letter touches on several points important to migrant workers: We urge inclusion...

Boss refuses to heed court order to pay $69k injury compensation

Uzzal’s injury happened like this. On 9 June 2010, he was working on a project in an HDB flat, hacking away floor and wall tiles in a bathroom. The vibration from the hacking machine caused his safety glasses to slip off allowing a chip of tiling to rocket into his right eye. He experienced immediate...

‘Troubled waters’ report launched

Researcher Sallie Yea gave a talk on Tuesday, 8 January 2013, launching her preliminary report on human trafficking in the fishing industry. The event was organised by Transient Workers Count Too. To an audience of about 30 persons from embassies, government and media, she spoke about her study of 63 cases of Filipino fishermen who...

Jolovan Wham writes open letter to Manpower minister

Jolovan Wham (right), writing in his personal capacity, sent an open letter to Tan Chuan-Jin, acting minister for Manpower on 7 January 2013. The opening paragraph references a defamation suit that the minister is threatening Vincent Wijeysingha of the Singapore Democratic Party with, over a previous Facebook post by the latter. Vincent was previously the...

Low pay may deter foreign workers

“Singapore will find it difficult to recruit foreign construction workers even from newer markets like Sri Lanka and the Philippines if it does not match salaries that employers elsewhere are offering,” reported the Straits Times on 3 Jan 2013. The newspaper was aggregating the reactions of agents, employers and migrant rights activists to news that...

Eight hours a day in ‘prison’ — I will go back to Myanmar, even if I have to starve there

[Webmaster: This story first appeared on the Facebook page “A maid’s-eye view of Singapore employers“. It is a distressing story, but it shows how some domestic workers suffer terribly. The story is said to be from a woman pseudonymed Soe Soe who has since left Singapore. Soe Soe told her story to the webmaster of...

MOM tough on worker, lets employer run rings around laws

Workers put on Special Passes are not allowed to work; they receive stern warnings and punishment if caught doing so. Yet their employers are able to avoid paying medical leave wages and medical expenses, leaving the workers with no means of survival. A fall at a Tampines construction site on 26 April 2012 left Ashraful...

“My boss also Work Permit man,” says S-Pass holder

By Fuxiong It’s my first interview with a migrant worker and I am feeling like I am thick in the head. After nearly half an hour I still cannot make sense of Mark’s story. The company that hired him is not where he worked. The boss was not really the boss, but he was also...

Don’t go to Singapore, it’s a place full of hardship and suffering

Rashedul isn’t typical of the men who leave Bangladesh for Singapore in search of wealth and fortune, and he would be the first to acknowledge that himself. He was in the middle of completing his bachelors degree in English literature at Jagganath University in Dhaka when, following his father’s advice, he left home to find...

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