you're reading...

Urgent Need To Fix Gaps In Factory-Converted Dormitories

The government is looking to tighten the rules governing factory-converted dormitories to ensure acceptable living conditions for these workers” (Government Eyeing Better Standards at Factory-Converted Dorms, Kenneth Cheng).

Taken from http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sites/default/files/styles/large_popup/public/image/2014/11/04/ALdorms0411.jpg?itok=T75NWs0f.

Yet the minister did not elaborate if there have been recalcitrant operators, and the punishments or penalties which followed.

That the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) has found unpleasant living conditions in factory-converted dormitories, “such as unhygienic quarters and inadequate laundry facilities” (TODAY, Aug. 2), is a cause for concern. That officers of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had also found that some operators “had ‘big’ gaps to fix in meeting even the current standards” is an even greater cause for concern, because questions can be raised over whether the government has been doing enough. Furthermore, it is also not clear whether the recommendations mooted by the MWC are consistent with the findings of the MOM, after visits to 90 per cent of the factory-converted dormitories in Singapore.

For instance, Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck said that enforcement action has since been taken against errant operators – some of whom have taken corrective action – in addition to oft-cited steps on education and keener self-regulation. Yet the minister did not elaborate if there have been recalcitrant operators, and the punishments or penalties which followed. Absent from Mr. Teo’s answers were also details of the dormitories which are guilty of these transgressions. And in this vein, how different will the tighter conditions or government management be? How exactly will the government subsequently address the housing lapses or failures flagged by the MWC?

The argument that “the economic climate and cost pressures on operators could result in shortfalls at these facilities” is not as convincing, because: first, that standards in purpose-built or institutional dormitories are already much higher, and based on visits by MOM officers most operators of factory-converted dormitories appear to have no issues adhering to guidelines; second, that both operators and employers of migrant workers have an obligation, as an interviewed company said, to not “compromise the safety and welfare” of its workers; as well as third – and as a consequence – that operators and employers should factor these considerations into their costings. For if they cannot afford to even provide these basic standards of living, then the companies should not be allowed to employ these workers in the first place. And for their labour, this is perhaps the least companies can also do for their workers.

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow guanyinmiao's musings on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,381 other followers


  • RT @nytimes: Prime Minister Theresa May won her cabinet’s support for a draft Brexit deal, clearing a major hurdle as a deadline looms to l… 4 hours ago
  • RT @NateSilver538: Remember when you had skin in the game and interesting things to say (instead of having re-written the book you wrote in… 4 hours ago
  • RT @AFP: #BREAKING Fox News says it will join rival CNN in its legal battle to restore the access of White House reporter Jim Acosta, maint… 5 hours ago
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Nala. She just got the new leash and collar from @tentree. Solidifying her spot as the most majestic girl in all the… 7 hours ago
  • RT @frhn: how long has the journo been waiting to use this headlien twitter.com/STcom/status/1… 7 hours ago
%d bloggers like this: