Monday, February 23, 2015

SINGAPORE:::Mobile office to engage migrant workers

SINGAPORE: Foreign workers will now find it easier to get help and find out more about their employment rights when a new mobile centre visits their workplace and dormitories. The mobile office is an initiative by the Migrant Workers' Centre and it aims to reach out to more workers especially those in remote areas.
The office, housed in a refurbished Nissan Cabstar, made its first appearance at the Penjuru Migrant Workers' Recreation Centre on Sunday (Feb 22). The multi-purpose mobile office was launched by the chairman of the Migrant Workers' Centre, Yeo Guat Kwang. The vehicle is called the Forward Response, Engagement and Intel Deployment Asset or FREIDA.
FREIDA will be manned by two staff from the Migrant Workers' Centre as it makes its rounds to engage migrant workers. Besides visiting smaller dormitories located at more remote industrial areas, the vehicle will also be used as a forward deployment centre in major incidents like strikes and riots.

The Migrant Workers' Centre has two physical offices at Serangoon Road and Geylang. It said that the new mobile office will make it more cost effective to operate. Mr Yeo said: "Instead of building more physical centres, it will be more practical for us to have a mobile centre where we can deploy regularly and station somewhere. More importantly, this will enable us to reach out to the workers.
"We can deploy it to the dormitories, as well as the recreation centres, even areas where they congregate. This will increase the visibility of our centre, at the same time make it more approachable."
Workers said a mobile office is helpful, especially for the newer migrant workers who may need help. Bangladeshi worker, Shapikur Rahman, said: "Some workers are new here - one year, three months, four months, six months. If they have a problem, they don't know where to go."
The Migrant Workers' Centre said migrant workers living outside the major dormitories are less aware of their employment rights and require more assistance. In addition, the Centre said it is working with dormitory operators to set up helpdesks inside the dormitories.

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