While the construction industry provides an important source of employment globally, particularly amongst low-income and low-skilled migrants from rural areas, it is arguably one of the most precarious forms of work. This policy brief summarises findings from a research study that examines the pre-departure and employment experiences of Bangladeshi migrants working in Singapore's construction industry, with a focus on areas of risk and vulnerability that impact the outcomes of their migration experiences. Key issues and challenges include: migrant indebtedness stemming from exorbitant pre-departure fees; low wages; workers' weak bargaining power in the workplace; and lapses in workplace safety enforcement. The brief concludes with recommendations for reducing the costs of migration, whilst increasing the protection of migrant construction workers in vulnerable situations.
Baey, G. Precarious Labour: Bangladeshi construction workers in Singapore. Asia Research Institute, Singapore (2015) 4 pp.