The Cause

Posted by on September 18, 2011 in

There are nearly one million low-wage migrant workers in Singapore. They make up about 20 percent of the total population and are mostly employed in construction, shipyards, sanitation services, manufacturing and domestic work.  Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) is dedicated to assisting these low-wage migrant workers when they are in difficulty. Migrant workers on Work Permits contribute immensely to Singapore society and our economy, yet they often suffer unconscionable exploitation.

Mostly from India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines, they are among the most vulnerable sections of our society, disadvantaged by:

  • Language and cultural displacement
  • Legal status that can be revoked at any time by their employers, thus outside their own control
  • Work options limited to dirty and dangerous jobs
  • Long working hours, fatigue and thus higher risk of accidents
  • Lack of control over their living conditions, often having to put up with substandard facilities
  • Social prejudice against their ethnicity or national origin

Migrant workers are commonly exploited by:

  • Having to pay high agency fees to secure a job in Singapore
  • Low wages, further reduced through illegal deductions
  • Unpaid salaries
  • Long working hours or no days off
  • Doing dangerous work, leading to injuries
  • Employers refusing to bear the cost of medical treatment
  • Poor accommodation
  • Risk of forced repatriation to the workers’ home countries when they are in dispute with their employers over one or more of the above, without employers settling claims

We at TWC2 are motivated by a sense of fairness and humanity, though often our caseload exceeds our limited means. We would appreciate any help we may receive.