Workers' quarters: Operator charged

A dormitory operator is facing charges for allowing 50 foreign workers to be housed in poor living conditions. The workers' quarters had poor sanitation, cockroach and mosquito infestations and were a fire hazard.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday that it charged Yeo's Brother Management on Sept 28, after an inspection of its Ama Keng Hostel at 25, Ama Keng Road, in July last year. The operator faces 50 charges.

Following the inspection, undertaken after complaints from workers, MOM ordered the firm to relocate the affected workers. The ministry said the conditions severely undermined the safety and well-being of the workers, and the dormitory, which has a capacity of 1,900, has since ceased operations.

Also, the firm's application for a licence under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act, which came into force in January last year for dormitories housing 1,000 or more foreign workers, was rejected.

The case has been adjourned to Oct 19. If convicted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the company can be fined up to $10,000 for each of the 50 charges, one for each worker.

MOM noted that employers are subject to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act as well, and those who violate the law will be prohibited from hiring foreign workers, on top of court penalties.

MOM added that foreign workers who have issues with their housing conditions should raise the matter with their employer. If the employer fails to rectify the situation, they can contact the Migrant Workers' Centre on 6536-2692. Foreign workers and the public can also report malpractice to MOM by calling 6438-5122 or e-mailing mom_fmmd@mom.gov.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline 'Workers' quarters: Operator charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe