Scenes of chaos emerged when the residents at a foreign worker dormitory in Jurong confronted the management as a group last week. Apparently, about 500 workers staying in the dorm have tested positive for Covid-19. Photos and videos of workers at the Westlite Jalan Tukang dorm voicing their frustrations with how they are being treated – bad living conditions, poor quality of food and delayed healthcare – were circulating on several social media platforms. The police were called in at about 1 pm and armoured riot police were also deployed. The Migrant Workers’ Centre and Union have since stepped in to check on the wellbeing of affected residents.
Photos that have surfaced online showed workers believed to have been unwell sleeping at the corridors outside the rooms as they did not want to infect their peers while they awaited medical care. The workers also claimed poor living conditions and shared that they had been given food that had worms, hair, newspaper bits or had gone bad. The situation seemed dire.
Migrant Workers’ Centre and SMEEU Step In To Support Residents
Thankfully, the workers’ concerns are being resolved. This was within a day after their plight was brought to attention. To confirm that the issues that residents were facing are being addressed, the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC)’s staff accompanied by representatives from the Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees’ Union (SMEEU), have since visited the dormitory to engage with residents. Kudos to their efforts in looking out for the welfare of our foreign workers during such a difficult time!
The MWC spoke with nearly 200 workers to understand the situation and also checked on the workers’ physical and emotional state amidst the difficult situation. They have also offered assistance in resolving any other lingering or new employment or well-being related issues that they may have.
Westlite is also working closely with MOM to deal with the issues and Manpower Minister Tan See Leng had also given his assurance to migrant workers that they would receive appropriate medical care.