More of here, less of there: increase in repeat workers and fat profits for the underground job broker in Singapore

The recruitment landscape for non-domestic Work Permit holders has changed dramatically in just a few short years. About 80% of these workers are ‘repeat workers’ i.e. they have had a job here before their current ones. This is a big change from only four years ago when we found a slight majority on their first...

Some days the skies are clear and problems float away

“Migrant workers volunteer to clean Pasir Ris beach on Saturday” said the headline in the Straits Times, 17 October 2018. Indeed, that’s what a large group of TWC2 clients did, led by Irene Ong and Marcel Bandur, joint leaders of our Discover Singapore team. This team organises activities for the workers under our care every...

“Justice for foreign workers benefits Singaporean workers too,” says TWC2 President

In a commentary piece carried on Channel NewsAsia on 21 June 2018, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress Patrick Tay wrote of the significance of a recent High Court judgement in favour of Bangladeshi worker Hasan Shofiqul — which had been earlier been reported prominently by the Straits Times (header pic). Patrick Tay...

48 Nihal workers left high and dry, and MOM’s ‘softly, softly’ role

None of the workers has gotten any real satisfaction. Nada. Worse yet, it was hardly an unusual case; it’s becoming all too common for migrant workers to be left high and dry after their employers fail to pay the agreed salaries and the Ministry of Manpower’s dispute resolution system either grinds too slowly, or grinds...

Employer sent to jail, worker’s compensation still unpaid. Is this good enough?

Suriakumar Ridgeway Ramaiah, will be serving jailtime for failing to pay injury compensation to a worker. Strictly speaking, the sole proprietor of Ridgeway Marine and Construction, was fined $21,000 on 16 November 2016 for failing to buy work injury insurance for his workers, and for not paying compensation when so ordered, but having defaulted on these, he was...

Domestic workers shell out money to dress up for pageants

The Sunday edition of the Straits Times, 29 October 2017, featured beauty contests that attract domestic workers on their days off. It said that there are such pageants almost every week, run by about 20 private organisers. Each contest may have about 40 participants. But taking part in the contest came at a price. Jessica, 33, a...

Straits Times: Help migrant workers stand up for their own safety

The commentary below was published in the Straits Times, 25 October 2017. John Gee For The Straits Times They form majority of workers in workplaces with high accident rates and deserve more targeted help measures Singapore has set itself the target of significantly reducing its workplace accident rate. The fatality rate alone last year was 1.9...

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...

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...

Today Weekend features our Everglory scam story

Our earlier story on the Everglory Construction case (The Everglory scam: productivity incentive shot to pieces) caught the attention of the press. Today Weekend (a newspaper) carried a story titled “Efforts to raise quality of construction workforce hamstrung by dishonest firms” on 8 July 2017, based on our exposé. The newspaper article can be found at this link: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/efforts-raise-quality-construction-workforce-hamstrung-dishonest-firms...