Important for foreign workers to have job security

I am glad to see that there is a silver lining for migrant workers, with a portal to help them look for jobs ("Portal to match foreign workers with urgent jobs"; Oct 14).

Migrant workers here do not have job security as they can be sent back at the whim of their employers even if they have not broken any rules.

It is very important for them to have job security.

Employers should be obliged to either pay them compensation or transfer them to another employer.

Some time back, I met a construction worker who was being sent back after six months, as his employer had gone bankrupt.

I wrote to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) only to be told that it had given him a pass and he should continue to look for a job.

The worker told me that the temporary pass given by the MOM was not good enough.

It should also be the responsibility of the MOM and the foreign workers' organisations to help such workers find jobs.

It is important to work with the embassies of these workers' home countries to ensure the workers are not taken advantage of.

There should be registered agents in their home countries that have fixed service fees so that the workers are not overcharged.

Employers that continue to break rules and house their workers under dangerous and inhumane conditions should have stiffer penalties imposed on them.

Workers should also not live in fear of having their employment permits cancelled for making legitimate complaints.

We must also consider if these workers' salaries are enough for them to sustain a balanced diet for themselves.

Many workers have also died in fires ("Take action before more die in dorm fires"; April 7) as well as during their work ("Foreign worker dies after fall at worksite"; Sept 23).

I hope that proper compensation has been paid to the families of the workers.

Singapore has become a First World country but we need to do more for the migrant workers and the poor here.

Shamim Moledina (Ms)