Tag Archives: Economics of migration

Discussion: economics of labour migration

Eager to go home after 15 jobless months

By Aaron Chua, based on an interview in December 2017 Just look at this!”, Alex exclaims, holding up one of the meal cards that are issued by TWC2 to workers in need. The surprise: The date of injury — 20 September 2016. It has been 15 months since. The card belongs to Hossain Muhammad Arif,  Continue Reading »

A look back at job mobility policies 2011 – 2017

There has been a gradual liberalisation over the last few years allowing construction workers to transfer to new jobs. This paper takes stock of evolving government policy in this area. Transient Workers Count Too has argued for a long time that retaining workers with experience in Singapore will be good for our much-hoped-for improvement in productivity.  Continue Reading »

Ratan waited three years before filing a salary complaint – why so long?

By Nicholas Lee, based on an interview in October 2017 The promise of a higher salary and a better life — this is the main reason why most foreign workers leave their families and the familiarity of their home come to Singapore to work. But what if after taking on debts to pay agent fees  Continue Reading »

By law, boss has to pay MC wages, so why is Hasan still asking for them?

By Tristan Powell-Odden, based on an interview in December 2017 Hasan Tamim has been seven months without work as a result of an accident. Not only was he not fully paid his salary before the incident, he has not received proper financial support from his employer since — despite the law requiring the employer to  Continue Reading »

“Sometimes $50 … na, take and go” is what passes for salary

By Alston Ng, based on an interview in December 2017 Pressing against the table and straining to be heard, Majumder Dilip Kumar (above left) recounts how he came to live off the goodwill of friends for the past two months. A note of morose resignation is unmistakable; he does not see the proverbial light at  Continue Reading »

Paying over $3,000 in recruitment cost for a $477-per-month job? That’s the way it is

By Aaron Chua, based on an interview in November 2017 “Hello,” says Bhimol* to TWC2 volunteer Alex Au, just as Alex is arriving at The Cuff Road Project’s meal station. “I come back,” adds Bhimol. “Huh? Come back from where?” asks Alex. “[Last] Friday, I come back. New job.” “Ah,” says Alex, but before he  Continue Reading »

Experienced plumber lost, who cares about productivity?

FOREWORD: For years, Transient Workers Count Too has been speaking out against the revolving door practices behind Singapore’s foreign labour. At the slightest unhappiness, employers are quick to send workers home and recruit fresh new faces. Why do they do this? Because they can. Singapore law gives employers total discretion when to terminate employees, there’s  Continue Reading »

Despite injury, despite longing for home, a need to stay and work abroad

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in October 2017 For ten years as a Bangladeshi migrant worker in Singapore, Hossain Awlad has only been back home three times. He misses home. He misses his wife, his mother, and his relatives. The last time he saw them was in 2013. He calls his wife  Continue Reading »

As Singapore goes cashless, dismantle structural barriers faced by foreign workers

In his National Day Rally speech on 20 August 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the need for greater efforts in migrating to cashless transactions. Subsequently, other ministers developed the point further. Transient Workers Count Too felt that it was important to ensure that whatever plans are drawn up, they should not inadvertently  Continue Reading »

Records of accidents are such a nuisance, aren’t they?

By Namgay Choden, based on an interview in July 2017 With me this evening is Howlader Mohammod Selim, and he tells me about what happened in September 2016. Selim had suffered an accident at work, and was brought to Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Jurong East. After treatment, the doctor asked Selim whether he needed  Continue Reading »