Skip to main content

Response to Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) article on migrant worker who was bullied by his employer

On 14 Mar 2024, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) published an article, “Employer bullies worker. Can nothing be done?”, with inaccuracies and misinformation on the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).  TWC2’s article cast aspersions on the professionalism of MOM and TADM officers who support workers with their claims. We are clarifying the facts below:


Allegation #1

According to TWC2, “Rafiqu” (not his real name), a migrant worker who was in the midst of resolving a salary claim with his employer, was left homeless after being escorted out of the dormitory by his employer. Rafiqu’s attempt to reach TADM for assistance was futile. TWC2 also claimed that TADM is the unit in MOM that handles salary claims.

The above is a misleading account. On 25 Jan 2024, Rafiqu went to MOM Services Centre to report that he had been asked to leave his dormitory. TADM referred him to MOM’s Assurance, Care & Engagement (ACE) Group for housing assistance. His accommodation was sorted out by the next day.

Between 25 Jan and 28 Feb 2024, there were multiple interactions between Rafiqu, company representatives, and MOM, to resolve Rafiqu's housing situation, food provision, and new work permit application.

TADM is an agency jointly set up by the tripartite partners. It is not a unit under MOM. TADM provides advisory and mediation services for employment disputes, including salary-related claims. Rafiqu did not contact his TADM mediator for assistance, but sent a message to an unmanned TADM number meant for administrative purposes.


Allegation #2

Rafiqu was transferred to a dormitory in Tuas by his employer, but needed to make a 2-and-a-half-hour commute to pick up his meals at Gambas Avenue. TWC2 alleged that MOM was unable to take further action in response to Rafiqu’s concerns about the travelling time and costs to collect his meals.

This is not true. Following MOM’s intervention, Rafiqu’s employer was agreeable to provide him with transport allowance to pick up his meals. The MOM officer also advised Rafiqu to have his meals at Gambas Ave while continuing to search for a new employer.

Rafiqu is presently employed by a new company, and has been issued a work permit issued since 28 Feb 2024. He is currently pursuing his salary claims at the Employment Claims Tribunals.