Tag Archives: Placement agents & fees

Employment agents, agent fees

“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 »

Bangladesh’s Financial Express: The plight of Singapore migrants from Bangladesh

“The root of the problem faced by Bangladesh workers is a hands-off attitude by both governments. More on the side of the Bangladesh government,” TWC2’s Alex Au was quoted as saying in an article in Bangladesh’s Financial Express newspaper, 9 September 2017. Another volunteer with TWC2, Nicholas Harrigan, added that the Singapore government should consider  Continue Reading »

Letter to Straits Times: Set up portal for employers to hire foreign workers

This is a continuation of an exchange of letters between the Ministry of Manpower and TWC2, published in the Straits Times. The earlier part of the exchange can be seen here. Responding to TWC2’s letter published 23 August 2017, MOM’s was published on 26 August 2017: MOM: Early reporting of errant employers sees better outcomes We  Continue Reading »

Letter to Straits Times: MOM’s advice out of step with reality

On 13 August 2017, the Straits Times highlighted the case of over a dozen Bangladeshi workers from SJH Trading. They told the newspaper that they had not been paid their salaries. Most are in their 40s, and had contracts stating they were to be paid a monthly salary of $1,600, excluding overtime pay. Their main  Continue Reading »

Contract substitution made easier by ministry?

Over the years, Transient Workers Count Too has seen many cases where, after arriving in Singapore to start on their jobs, migrant workers are told by their bosses that the salary stated on the In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter will not be honoured. Instead they are given the choice of accepting a lower salary, or be sent  Continue Reading »

Migrant workers in Singapore “vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage”, says US TIP 2017 report

Transient Workers Count Too is deeply appreciative of the US State Department’s efforts at drawing attention to the evil of trafficking in persons, through its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The 2017 segment relating to Singapore can be found here: https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2017/271276.htm  Singapore was classed as Tier 2. TWC2 notes in particular these comments in the report:  Continue Reading »

Job prematurely ended, Mollah Sharif facing debt collectors in three days

By Bill Poorman All he needs is some more time. Not forever. “One week, two week, three week,” Mollah Sharif Hossain says. Instead, he got only three days. Three days to save his life. It’s a Monday evening at TWC2’s free meals programme. Just yesterday, Mollah Sharif and his co-worker, Rafique (who goes by one name),  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 »

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 »

No work, no money, no food

By Bill Poorman “No work.” Those were the worst possible words that Masud could have heard. Like all foreign workers, he had come to Singapore to put in long hours and make a better life. In Singapore, he could earn a higher income than in his home country of Bangladesh. But when he arrived here in September of  Continue Reading »