Tag Archives: featured

Caring for the caregiver: foreign domestic workers’ access to medical care

In a survey of 468 foreign domestic workers (“FDW”), TWC2 found that generally, their access to medical care for minor ailments did not seem to be impeded. Over 80% of FDWs were taken  by their employers to a doctor when they felt ill and requested for medical attention. Over 80% said they were “not scared”  Continue Reading »

When an employer says a worker has ‘run away’, what really happened? Sumon’s story

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in August 2017 Sometimes, when it comes to foreign workers, it is both worrying and terrifying to realize just how much they are at the mercy of the employers, in an environment of lax enforcement and subdued consequences. Drastic measures can be taken at any time against injured  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 »

Fraud committed using ministry letterhead

Sarowar (not his real name) approaches our help desk hesitantly. Despite being in his mid-thirties, he does not exude much self-confidence. Maybe it’s because he knows his English is weak, and what he has to tell us is fairly complicated. However, it didn’t take us long to grasp the nub of the problem: Someone had  Continue Reading »

A mookata waiter’s tale

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in July 2017 The raid came. Subbas was on duty that night, and he was arrested. His luck had run out. He would spend a month in jail and, tied to a medieval rack, receive three strokes of the cane, cutting his flesh deeply and bloodily. It would  Continue Reading »

Siddik and Rafique’s lives frozen as Freezeland Aircon & Electrical folds

By Jonah Foong, based on interviews in July 2017 In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the fictional land of Oceania is ruled by Big Brother, a man of ‘about forty-five’ with a ‘heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features’. While his face is plastered on hoardings, he is never seen in the flesh, and his  Continue Reading »

Unpaid workers find company funds diverted

A boss was apologetic that he was unable to pay his employees their salaries on time. But what is interesting is the reason why he couldn’t do so: he had to pay foreign worker levies to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first. Below are key portions of a transcript of a meeting between the boss (who  Continue Reading »

Raiful paid $8,000, job didn’t exist. Initial attempt to lodge complaint rebuffed

By Troy Lee based on an interview in July 2017 In the early hours of Friday, 7 July 2017, Md Raiful Islam touched down at Changi airport, looking forward to start on a new job. By midday, he was devastated. The job did not exist. He had paid about 465,000 Bangladeshi taka (about S$8,000) for  Continue Reading »

“Agree to lower salary, or you won’t get your pay,” says company manager

By Wahid Al Mamun based on an interview late July 2017 A lot of things can happen in two months, and Mollah Showrov has learned this the hard way. His right leg is now in held immobile in an orthopaedic boot. I notice how gingerly he seats himself in the plastic chair beside me. Here  Continue Reading »

Employer proclaims he lied to ministry, then gets away with paying less in salary

Transient Workers Count Too came across a very interesting statement by Mr Tan Khim Long, director of KBC Engineering Pte Ltd. The company was defending a salary claim by a former employee, a Bangladeshi named Showkat, for short-payment of salary. The case was heard by the Manpower Ministry’s Labour Court in late 2016 and early  Continue Reading »