About alex

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So far alex has created 165 blog entries.
7 03, 2018

Crash! Bang! Boss hears windfall from the heavens

2019-08-30T16:31:07+08:00March 7th, 2018|Articles, Stories|

Martin* was on his second day at his new job. He was employed as a construction worker, but he had let his boss know that he held a Singapore driving licence. His boss asked him to drive a lorry. Martin hit another car; the lorry suffered scratches. Thankfully, no one was injured. Some days later,

25 02, 2018

A look back at job mobility policies 2011 – 2017

2019-08-30T16:31:07+08:00February 25th, 2018|Articles, Facts, research, analysis, News, Our Stand|

There has been a gradual liberalisation over the last few years allowing construction workers to transfer to new jobs. This paper takes stock of evolving government policy in this area. Transient Workers Count Too has argued for a long time that retaining workers with experience in Singapore will be good for our much-hoped-for improvement in productivity.

25 01, 2018

The man in the ministry’s locked drawer

2019-08-30T16:31:07+08:00January 25th, 2018|Articles, Stories|

By Alex, based on an interview in November 2017 "Why are you still in Singapore?" I ask Sarkar Debabrata. He is showing me a Special Pass dated 19 January 2017 -- ten months old -- which allows him to remain in Singapore until his case at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concluded. Yet, in his

12 10, 2017

Fraud committed using ministry letterhead

2019-08-30T16:31:30+08:00October 12th, 2017|Articles, Stories|

Sarowar (not his real name) approaches our help desk hesitantly. Despite being in his mid-thirties, he does not exude much self-confidence. Maybe it's because he knows his English is weak, and what he has to tell us is fairly complicated. However, it didn't take us long to grasp the nub of the problem: Someone had

28 09, 2017

Unpaid workers find company funds diverted

2019-08-30T16:31:30+08:00September 28th, 2017|Articles, Stories|

A boss was apologetic that he was unable to pay his employees their salaries on time. But what is interesting is the reason why he couldn't do so: he had to pay foreign worker levies to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first. Below are key portions of a transcript of a meeting between the boss (who

15 09, 2017

Employer proclaims he lied to ministry, then gets away with paying less in salary

2019-08-30T16:31:30+08:00September 15th, 2017|Articles, Stories|

Transient Workers Count Too came across a very interesting statement by Mr Tan Khim Long, director of KBC Engineering Pte Ltd. The company was defending a salary claim by a former employee, a Bangladeshi named Showkat, for short-payment of salary. The case was heard by the Manpower Ministry's Labour Court in late 2016 and early

1 09, 2017

Wage theft as it happens

2019-08-30T16:31:31+08:00September 1st, 2017|Articles, Stories|

There are many stories on this website about employers arbitrarily reducing migrant workers' salaries soon after the latter have started on their jobs. Employers and their agents promise certain terms of employment while the worker is still in his home country, but once the worker has arrived in Singapore, salaries are lowered and deductions increased. Sometimes, the

15 08, 2017

Contract substitution made easier by ministry?

2019-08-30T16:31:31+08:00August 15th, 2017|Articles, Stories|

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

25 06, 2017

The Everglory scam: productivity incentive shot to pieces

2019-08-30T16:31:32+08:00June 25th, 2017|Articles, Stories|

Bikas (left) and Mazibar (right) were two highly experienced workers from the group of five This is a story of how one branch of the government undermines what another branch is trying to do. Low productivity in the construction industry has been a concern for years. Among the measures being tried is a push