Migrant Workers' Centre targets having 2,000 volunteer grassroots leaders by 2018

Some 10, 000 migrant workers celebrated May Day with the Labour Movement on Sunday (May 21).
Some 10, 000 migrant workers celebrated May Day with the Labour Movement on Sunday (May 21).ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Performers entertain the attendees at the NTUC Migrant Workers Celebration.
Performers entertain the attendees at the NTUC Migrant Workers Celebration.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - More foreign workers will be appointed as volunteer grassroots leaders who help to surface problems that their colleagues face to the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC), a non-governmental organisation.

The MWC Buddies Network, formed in 2013, currently has 700 "MWC buddies" and 60 business contacts. MWC aims to increase the number of MWC buddies to 1,000 this year, and to 2,000 by end-2018.

MWC chairman Yeo Guat Kwang announced this on Sunday (May 21), saying that the centre hopes to increase its influence and connection with the migrant worker community.

The network also helps to disseminate information to workers, and give on-the-ground updates and feedback on unfair employment practices and potential incidents so MWC can intervene earlier before problems escalate.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Mr Yeo was speaking at the May Day Migrant Workers' Celebration at Sungei Tengah Lodge in Choa Chu Kang, the newest and largest purpose-built migrant workers' dormitory here. The event wraps up the labour movement's month-long May Day celebrations, and aims to thank migrant workers for their contributions towards Singapore's development.

About 10,000 migrant workers took part in the event, which featured carnival games and stage performances. Volunteers and guests also distributed more than 150 "thank you" cards, made by primary and secondary school students, to the workers.

MWC also thanked the event's guest of honour, Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck, for championing the migrant workers' cause during his time with the ministry.

Mr Teo will step down from office on June 30 and return to the private sector, at his request, but he will still be an MP for Pasir Ris- Punggol GRC.