Excerpts from Reuters:

“We don’t want to go back to Bangladesh. We take loan, we cannot pay, we die,” said Rahman, who gave up his farming job in Bangladesh and took a loan of S$7000 from money lenders back home to pay an agent fee to work in Singapore.

Fifty workers gathered at the ministry earlier this month.

Local advocacy group Transient Workers Count Too said such gatherings would become more common in Singapore as workers were not being fed enough and were just sitting in dormitories, amid Singapore’s worst ever recession.

Full report here.

——–

In a separate development, the Ministry of Manpower made a press release 27th Feb, titled “Ten Employers of ‘Phantom’ Workers Face 369 Charges”.

Here’s an excerpt:

Ten people from 21 businesses were charged in the Subordinate Courts today (27 February 2009) for falsely declaring the number of local workers employed so as to inflate their foreign worker entitlement.

Employers who have resorted to ‘phantom’ workers should immediately stop doing so. They should employ genuine local workers or cancel the work permits of their existing foreign workers to ensure compliance with foreign worker quotas. If they choose to continue with such fraudulent conduct, they will face the full consequences of the law.

Read MOM’s press release here.

———

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