Tag Archives: featured

The rough seas of debt

In an earlier story[1], Liang Lei has sketched the origins of Sikder Sumon’s salary case and the long time it took at the Ministry of Manpower. Here, Isaac Ching adds a bit more detail about the MOM process and discusses the wider context By Isaac Ching On the evening of 25 May 2017, at Isthana  Continue Reading »

Sumon’s salary case stretched for five months, exhausting his ability to fight for his full amount

By Liang Lei “I tired already”, was Sumon’s reply to why he chose not to continue pursuing his case, despite a settlement that will only entitle him to S$11,000. That’s half of the amount he believes is owed to him by his employer. Sumon has not seen his family for six years since his move to  Continue Reading »

Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers stuffed into office drawers

By Katia Barthélémy Heading to one of the restaurants in Little India where TWC2 offers free meals to injured and salary-unpaid migrant workers, I am wondering about the kind of life story I will come across tonight. As a fairly new volunteer with TWC2, my limited experience makes me think everything is about physical injuries.  Continue Reading »

How do you determine if your employer or doctor is “good” or “bad”?

We wondered how a foreign worker might form an opinion whether he was getting adequate medical care. We picked a worker at random to see what he has to say. By Cheow Yong Jian Meet Kalam Md Abul, 28, a construction worker whose experiences leave him in considerable doubt on how to answer this question.  Continue Reading »

Anatomy of an S-Pass scam

By Darren Oei Rama, a forty-ish Indian national, comes up to TWC2 volunteer Alex, giving him an update to his case. Alex nods and says “Good, that’s good,” though I can’t make sense of what Rama is saying. Then for some reason, Rama turns to me and continues telling me his good news, but he  Continue Reading »

Left bleeding for four hours, no ambulance called

By Sun Han Chen The senior volunteer clenches his fist tightly. “Are you able to do this?” he asks Khalil Ibrahim whom we’re interviewing. “Yes, but very pain,” Ibrahim replies softly, repeatedly rubbing his right forearm, which reveals a long scar where not long ago there had been seven stitches. It was a deep wound,  Continue Reading »

Bangladeshi bank charges 10% interest per month

Rakib and Kanak don’t know each other, but both come on the same day to Transient Workers Count Too with similar stories. The chief similarity was that they both had borrowed from Brac Bank whose branches and billboards can be seen all over Bangladesh. This bank is a major loan-maker to Bangladeshi men needing to  Continue Reading »

Neat payslips hide violations in plain sight

Rahman Habibur complains that he has been short-paid for well over a year. It is not immediately obvious when one looks at his payslips. They appear very clearly drawn up. But closer examination reveals that he has a case. Habibur, together with workmate Uddin Jashim, figured in an earlier story Construction worker says he was asked  Continue Reading »

Injured worker given ‘good news’: “Go home, see your family for a week.”

By Chow Zheng Shuan Uddin Md Jashim — or Din, as his friends call him — is at Isthana Restaurant this Monday evening for dinner provided by TWC2. After receiving his packed meal from the counter, he settles down at a table to recount his story to me. I picked him randomly to talk to.  Continue Reading »

TWC2 participates in country review of Bangladesh at the United Nations in Geneva

Transient Workers Count Too was represented at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Bangladesh government’s handling of migrant worker issues came under scrutiny. Specifically, Bangladesh’s governance was reviewed against its commitments to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families. Bangladesh ratified this convention in August  Continue Reading »