Transient Workers Count Too served 50,258 meals in the first six months of 2012 at our Cuff Road Project. This brings the total number of meals served since the project began to 310,606.

As you can see in the bar chart below, the weekly numbers of meals served (each week is represented by a bar) have risen through the period. In May and June, it was consistently over 2,000 a week. Click the image for a larger version to see the numbers more clearly.

The next chart (below) shows

(a) the number of persons registering for the meal program each month (taller bars), and

(b) the number of new registrations each month (shorter bars).

What’s the difference between the two? Out-of-work foreign workers lodging complaints at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) almost always find that it takes several months for their claims to be settled. Every month that they remain in Singapore, they need to re-register for the meal program. The taller bars in the chart below represent the total number of persons who register for meals for that month. The shorter bars represent the numbers who register for the first time — who would generally be new complainants at MOM.

The cases are also split by type: Injury; Company case; Overstay and Miscellaneous.

The term “company case” means workers who have lost their jobs for reasons largely due to their employers’ behaviour, e.g. salaries not paid; employers defaulting on levy payment, thus leaving workers with Work Permits cancelled; employers deploying workers to jobs outside their permitted areas and getting caught by MOM; and so on.

TWC2 also sees a small number of men overstaying their social visit or work passes and getting caught. They are then stuck in Singapore, and often penniless, while their cases are investigated.

The numerical notations on the bars such as “428/110” (June injury) indicate that there were a total of 428 injured workers registering for meals in June, of which 110 were new cases we’re seeing for the first time.

The ratio of taller to shorter bars would serve to indicate the average number of months the men stay on the meal program. For example, in June 2012, there were a total of 574 meal registrations. Of these, 165 were new cases. The ratio of the former to the latter is 3.5, which suggests that men remain on the program for 3.5 months on average, and also indicates that the average person waits at least 3.5 months for MOM to resolve his case.

However, in January 2012, the ratio was 2.3, which suggests from January to June, the period of time taken by MOM to resolve cases has been lengthening.