Tuesday, 26 September 2023

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Migrant Workers’ Centre announces ex-gratia payout to deceased worker’s family following Tanjong Pagar site tragedy

SINGAPORE — Following the tragic incident at a Tanjong Pagar construction site that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old migrant worker, the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) has announced a financial aid initiative for the worker’s family.

The MWC stated on Friday that they would issue an ex-gratia payout to the deceased worker’s next-of-kin, aiming to provide interim financial support during this difficult period.

The payout, to be sourced from the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund (MWAF), will bridge the financial gap for the family while they await compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).

The MWC, a bipartite initiative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers’ Federation (SNEF), did not specify the amount of the ex-gratia payout.

In addition to providing financial assistance, the MWC also expressed its commitment to helping workers affected by such incidents, promising to extend counselling services to colleagues of the deceased worker during this challenging period.

On Friday, Mr Melvin Yong, the People’s Action Party Member of Parliament for Radin Mas SMC and NTUC assistant secretary-general, lauded MWC’s response and echoed the importance of a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

Mr Yong further advocated for companies to bolster their safety protocols and establish mechanisms for reporting safety concerns, reflecting a broader concern for worker welfare.

The incident occurred on Thursday at a construction site of the Fuji Xerox Towers, which is currently under demolition to make way for a new development named Newport Plaza.

After the incident, the deceased worker’s employer, Aik Sun Demolition and Engineering, was ordered to halt all work at the site.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) completed their search operation on Friday morning, confirming that no other individuals were trapped under the debris.

The body of the deceased worker was recovered late Thursday night, approximately eight hours after the incident.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) jointly ordered all construction activities to cease while investigations into the cause of the collapse are ongoing.

Additionally, City Developments Limited, the developer of Newport Plaza, reaffirmed their commitment to workplace safety and pledged to provide necessary support to the affected workers.

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