An honest day’s work – but screwed anyway

My apologies for the title, but after spending some time with a migrant worker today – together with some of my friends – I’m quite upset that what we had highlighted more than 3 years ago are still taking place. Namely, that employers are exploiting their foreign workers, leaving them helpless with nowhere to turn to.

The poor guy had even sought help from the Labour Court which actually agreed with him, and ordered the employer to pay the salary owed to the worker. The employer refused to do so. The Court apparently is helpless in what to do next, besides advising the poor migrant worker to resort to a civil suit – for which the worker has no money to lodge!

And MOM says its hands are tied too because of certain policies.

Look, the worker worked as many as 18 hours a day.

He deserves his salary.

Period.

And if the Labour Court and MOM cannot help him retrieve the money rightfully and honourably earned through hard work, then what the hell are the Court and MOM for?

It makes me angry – and we’ll be writing about his story.

And I am sure that his story is not an isolated one.

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5 thoughts on “An honest day’s work – but screwed anyway

  1. Don’t think it is fair to blame the Court and MOM – if they have to become debt collectors, then you create a systemic issue in which everyone, locals and foreigners, will turn to them to enforce court orders.

    I am not saying the current system is perfect – this is clearly a gap that has to be filled. Question is: who should step into the gap?

  2. It is in this type of cases that I support the law on conempt for the court, not for politically motivated ends.

  3. If the poor worker has little recourse to claim his rightful wages, it is because the govt decides so.

    Compare this to a situation where people are declared bankrupt and has to report to an official assignee regularly who also supervises his debt repayment and the restriction place on his movement out of the country. The message is quite clear: The law made and is enforce for the rich against the poor man on the street, but not the other way round. The rich may owe you your money and even decide not to compensate you because the law is like Swiss cheese -full of holes- but it is as tight as an shark’s or crocodile jaw the other way round when the rich owes the ordinary man his rightful wages.

  4. Pleaase amend my post to:
    The rich may owe you your money and even decide not to compensate you because the law is like Swiss cheese -full of holes- but it is as tight as an shark’s or crocodile jaw the other way round when you default on your repayment to the rich man.

  5. This is an order BY THE COURT! And to enforce it, you have to initiate another court proceeding to get a second COURT ORDER?

    Does this not sound ridiculous to you? Is the Singapore COURT that inefficient and/or neutered? Or it is because the PAP government cares that only those with MONEY will get justice?

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