Tag Archives: Placement agents & fees

Employment agents, agent fees

Here’s Shakil, who has worked in both Dubai and Singapore

In Singapore, we rarely see workers who have worked in the Middle East before coming here. Why that is so probably involves complex reasons outside the scope of this article. Shakil is the unusual one. He spent five years in Dubai before coming to Singapore. We seize the opportunity to ask him to describe his  Continue Reading »

In-Principle Approval: uses and abuses 2011 – 2018, part 1

Introduction This five-part series of articles throws a spotlight on the In-Principle Approval for a Work Permit (“IPA”), a key document in the import of foreign labour into Singapore. Behind the document is a process that, over time, has shown several weaknesses. What began as a document and process to better assure migrant workers that  Continue Reading »

Costs of low-waged labour migration: Difficulties, implications and recommendations

Unlike other studies that tend to be more focussed on a particular issue, e.g. recruitment costs or access to healthcare, this study takes a more inclusive approach, to look at the various costs of migration, as surfaced by migrant workers themselves in face-to-face interviews. It therefore reveals issues that may be missed by other studies,  Continue Reading »

Recruitment cost in some cases about 20 times monthly salary

In this article “$” represents the Singapore Dollar unless we specifically say otherwise, e.g.”US$”. It’s been some time since we last wrote about recruitment costs. It’s not a topic we should lose sight of. No progress is being made on this front, and high costs remain the chief reason why migrant workers cannot exert their  Continue Reading »

Paid for job. No salary. Pay again for new job?

By Ada Cheong, based on an interview in September 2018 Miah Younose takes his arm off the table and leans back into his chair, laughing to make light of his predicament. Unpaid for four months and bearing the sunken cost of $4,800 in agent fees, he is desperate to remain in Singapore to find new  Continue Reading »

For men from a poor country, choice is a mirage

In June 2018, TWC2 volunteer Alston Ng went around asking Bangladeshi workers, “Why did you choose to come to Singapore to work?” The words “neoliberal capitalism” are rarely heard in Singapore, but its message has nonetheless found a faithful following among Singaporeans. Markets are best optimised when left to run by itself, because the exercise  Continue Reading »

Bangladeshi workers’ perception of Singapore, choice of Singapore as work destination and journey here

Intern Roy Lim was with TWC2 from late April to early June 2018. Among his tasks were to complete a research project, a smallish one in view of the limited time and that fact that it had to be done single-handedly. The attached paper is his report. In his paper, he found that Bangladeshi workers  Continue Reading »

$55 a day and the bright side of things

By Philomène Franssen based on an interview in April 2018 It is quite an unusual story that I got to hear at TWC2’s Cuff Road Project food programme, one Monday evening. Indeed, as a volunteer member of the Communications team, when I sign up to interview one of the migrant workers that TWC2 assists, I  Continue Reading »

TWC2 welcomed fellow NGOs to Migrant Forum in Asia meeting in Singapore

Earlier this month, TWC2 welcomed 14 foreign delegates to a meeting in Singapore on issues related to work migration. The meeting was co-organised between TWC2 and Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), of which TWC2 is a member. MFA is an Asia-wide alliance of over 20 NGOs working in the migration sector, with members from Japan  Continue Reading »

Hossain Sabuj tells us who got rich from his working in Singapore

By Tristan Powell-Odden, based on an interview in January 2018 Hossain Sabuj, like many other migrant workers, had a dream: To open a clothing store that re-sold American brands in Bangladesh, his home country. To raise the needed capital, he would work for a few years overseas. However, because of the exorbitant amounts of money  Continue Reading »