What would you do if you were forced to work like you’re not a human being? And even after all that, you didn’t get paid and was left stranded.
And to add salt to the wound, you’re denied justice because you’ve unknowingly broken some laws.
If you thought that was a storyline for a Korean action blockbuster, think again. Because that was what allegedly happened in Singapore.
At Clementi, to be exact.
Man Responds To Facebook Ad Looking For Help At Food Stall
According to an article on HOME, a man known as Rudi responded to a Facebook ad looking for a worker to man a food stall in Singapore.
He contacted the recruiter and was promised $40 per day and had to work from 8 am to 6 pm. Should he be working after 6 pm, he’ll be paid an additional $8 per hour.
And he was told that lodgings would be provided.
Harsh Working Conditions
Excited, he paid $3,000 to an agent based in Indonesia for the job.
But when he got to Singapore, the reality wasn’t as rosy as he thought it would be.
Instead of working from 8 am to 6 pm, he was made to work 16-hour work days. And he was only given one rest day per month.
But it’s his sleeping arrangements that he was shocked at.
He was made to sleep at the food stall itself on a thin mattress and a pillow.
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And to upkeep his daily hygiene, he had to shower at a public restroom nearby.
But hey, anything for the three meals, right?
Employer Didn’t Pay Him, Desert Him in Foreign Land
On 5 July, his employer told him that the stall was closed for business and assure him that he’ll be paid on the next day.
However, he never did.
He returned Rudi’s passport and disappeared.
Rudi slept at the pasar malam until it was torn down, and at a public park for a few days after.
Then, he reached out to Home for help through a fellow migrant worker.
He Wasn’t Registered As A Foreign Worker & So, MOM Couldn’t Help Him
Before he came to Singapore, he asked if the paperwork was legal. He was assured that it was.
However, what he did not know was that he wasn’t registered under a work pass. The recruiter registered him on a social visit pass instead.
(i.e. like a tourist)
When his case was put forward to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), they allegedly said that they will not be able to pursue the case for him as he was working here illegally.
They referred him to the Immigration and Customs Authority (ICA) who decided not to prosecute him.
He was, instead, deported back to his home country of Indonesia.
Rudi managed to pay off the $3,000 fee with a loan from the bank and his own savings.
It wasn’t known if the employer and agent were already apprehended by the authorities but a trafficking referral was filed for him.
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