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Migrant worker files lawsuit against employer and dorm operator for locking him in room with 19 others

The workers were allegedly shut in together after one of them had close contact with another who tested positive for Covid-19

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A migrant worker filed a claim against his former employer and dormitory operator for locking him and 19 others in a dormitory room for three days.

In a press release on Tuesday (Jan 5) by TRANSIENT WORKERS COUNT TOO (TWC2), Rahman Mohammad Hasibur said: “Between 19 and 21 April, my roommates and I were confined in our dormitory room against our will”.

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), an NGO which focuses on migrant worker issues, related the incident on Apr 21, 2020, after one of the workers came forward asking them for help.

He added that on Dec 29 2020, he filed and served a civil claim against his former employer, V. Spec Engineering & Supplies Pte Ltd, and the dormitory operator, Joylicious Management Pte Ltd for damages.

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The workers were allegedly locked into the room after a worker they had close contact with tested positive for Covid-19.

Those who wanted to go to the toilet or shower had to call security guards to unlock the door and the guards would take up to 30 minutes to attend to such requests.

According to media reports, the dorm manager said in 2020 that it had been necessary to confine the workers while more suitable accommodations were being prepared. They added that there were two Bangladeshi workers among the group who requested to use the toilet every half hour.

Furthermore, the dormitory manager explained that it would have needed to ensure that the toilet was cleared of other dormitory occupants before allowing access by workers from this group, as they were close contacts of a confirmed Covid-19 case.

Following the incident, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had issued a stern warning to the dorm operator.

MOM’s investigations had confirmed that the operator had confined the workers in their room on April 20, to prevent them from moving around after a close contact of the workers was tested positive for Covid-19. /TISG

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