Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 08:02:35 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Aug 25 2009 11:02 pm
Subject: Re: Another tough life in LHL's Eden
On Aug 25, 10:17 pm, "truth" wrote:
> "Why won't they give me an opportunity?"
> Tuesday, 25 August 2009, 1:47 pm | 810 views
> The worst is over for the Singapore economy and the labour market has
> stabilised, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Rally
> speech. (Straits Times)
> "Now the eye of the storm has passed.. Our labour situation has stabilised.
> Unemployment is not too high. Companies - some of them are hiring again,
> although still not in large numbers. Third quarter should be all right."
> The Prime Minister's reassurance brings little comfort to Nur (not her real
> name). What she faces is not unemployment through retrenchment but
> discrimination at the work place. Nur, 28, a single mother with a seven-year
> old daughter, works as an admin staff in a local company. In the last eight
> months, she was twice asked to leave her jobs as her employers did not want
> to extend her contract. Now Nur may again be asked to leave her third job
> this year.
> You see, Nur is a kidney patient. She first discovered she had kidney
> problems in both her kidneys in 2005. Since then, she has had to visit the
> dialysis centre, run by the National Kidney Foundation, three times a week,
> each time spending four hours in dialysis treatment. She does this in the
> evenings, after work, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She starts work at
> 8.30am and finishes at 6pm. In order to be on time for her treatment, she
> leaves work half an hour earlier, at 5.30pm. It was this which her employers
> found disagreeable. "They told me that since I cannot be around all the time
> they cannot extend my contract," Nur explained, visibly upset. With a four
> hour treatment, she sometimes ends up reaching home close to midnight, and
> has little time to spend with her daughter.
> She works on a contract basis and has had to endure her contracts not being
> renewed several times this year, even though her employers did not find her
> work performance lacking.
> Such experiences with employers have led her to lie during job interviews
> when she looked for new jobs. "If I tell them the truth, they will not hire
> me," she says. And even when she is successful in her job applications, she
> would continue to make up excuses in order to go for her treatment. "I would
> tell them I need to fetch my daughter from school," she says. . "I have to
> work because I need to give [money] to my mother and I have to take care of
> my daughter," she adds.
> Once, after she had been on the job for two months, she decided to tell her
> manager the truth - and she ended up losing her job.
> So why doesn't she make arrangements with the centre to start her dialysis
> later so that she doesn't have to leave her workplace half an hour early?
> The problem is that dialysis sessions do not always start on time, Nur
> explains. For example, during the recent H1N1 outbreak, sessions at the
> centre were delayed as precautionary measures had to be adhered to. This
> meant that Nur would end her dialysis much later, almost around midnight.
> "It is very tiring, you know?" she says. She explains that already with the
> travelling to the centre and then onwards to her home, the entire process
> would take a total of close to six hours. She goes to bed past midnight but
> has to wake up at 6.30am to prepare to go to work again.
> In the last job which she was asked to leave, her employer recruited another
> person to replace her. To Nur, this showed that it was not because the
> company needed to cut staff to save cost or that her performance was
> unsatisfactory, but that the company was discriminating against her because
> of her medical condition. In fact, several of her former employers had given
> this as their reasons for not renewing her contract.
> In August, her supervisor informed her that the company may not renew her
> current contract. When she asked if the company was unhappy with her
> performance, her supervisor said no, but did not elaborate further.
> In desperation, Nur went to see her Member of Parliament during his
> Meet-The-People session. He promised to get back to her but did not. When
> she visited him a second time, she was told by the MP's assistants, "Sorry.
> MP cannot help you." She was then advised to look for a job herself.
> Nur has tried looking for a 9-to-5 job but she has not been successful so
> far. With the current economic situation, her search is made harder.
> Several weeks ago, she approached the Community Development Council (CDC)
> for help but was told that they were not able to find her a job. The CDC
> advised her to wait and that she will be informed if it comes across any
> available jobs for her.
> As she shows me the fremitus or thrill embedded in her left arm, above the
> elbow, a device which makes it easier to locate small veins in patients, Nur
> explains that she hardly misses work. This is because as a contract worker,
> she only gets paid when she shows up at the office. "This is why I'll force
> myself to go to work even when I'm sick," she says.
> For now, she is at her wits' end. Nur yearns for stability in her job so
> that she can better manage her life, and care for her daughter. All she
> seeks is a fair opportunity from employers and for understanding. "Why won't
> they give me an opportunity?" she asks.
Why can't she use her brain properly... the simple way to think out of
the box... is to find a job that is near to her house, and near to the