BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014

BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
01 MAY 2014
                                                              60 CENTS
                                                              MCI (P) 183/12/2013

                       BAND TOGETHER
                        TO POWER UP
                       Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers!

                                                              WONDERING WHAT THESE
Photo by Goy Kae Lip

                                                              ‘BETTER ENERGY BANDS’ ARE
                                                              ALL ABOUT? TURN THE PAGE
                                                              TO FIND OUT NOW!
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
2 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

      The Better Movement For All
      To mark May Day 2014, the Labour Movement has a message not
         just for employers and workers but for customers as well.

             his May Day, the Labour Movement celebrates the

             launch of a new movement – the ‘Better Movement’. It
             celebrates the workers of Singapore, thanks them for their
     contributions in building a better Singapore, and to inspire a

     spirit of self-improvement.
        The ‘Better Movement’, in line with NTUC Secretary-General
     (SG) Lim Swee Say’s May Day message, calls on Singaporeans
     to be Better Employers, Better Workers and Better Customers
     through adjusting mindsets and changing our economy, our
     workforce and our society for the better.
        At a media briefing on 25 April 2014, SG Lim said that
     Singapore is currently seeing a tight labour market and he
     stressed that this tightness will continue from now to 2020 and
     become even tighter from 2020 to 2030 as Singapore transits to
     a productivity and innovation-driven economy. He highlighted
     that the pressure is on, as companies see their business costs
     going up, and workers see themselves taking on more roles and

                                                                                                                                   Photo by Goy Kae Lip
        “We (Tripartite Partners) believe that the more effective we
     are in working together to get through this restructuring, the
     faster we can get over this pain of restructuring,” said SG Lim.


     Hence, his message to employers: Be better employers, because                  long with the movement, 100,000 Better
     “only by becoming better employers will they be able to attract and            Energy Bands have been produced by the
     retain better workers.”                                                        Labour Movement to be handed out to
         And to the workers, he said: “In the future not                   workers and members of the public. Recipients
     only do we have to compete with workers                               are encouraged to wear the band to show their
     in other countries, but we also have to                               commitment and solidarity to the ‘Better
     compete with technology, robots and                                   Movement’ cause.
     more.                                                                    The campaign will kick off on 1 May 2014,
         In addition, SG Lim’s message                                     where NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say,
     for customers this year is show their                                 NTUC President Diana Chia and fellow members
     appreciation to workers. “We also need                                of the NTUC Central Committee will distribute
     every customer to be a better customer…                               the bands to workers at JEM shopping mall.
     we need the customer to play their part,” he                             Some 1,000 other members of the Labour
     added.                                                                Movement will carry on with an island-wide
         “So if all three (employers, workers                                 distribution of the bands at hospitals, bus and
     and customers) can come together, then                                      train interchanges, ports and retail malls.
     I think we have a much better chance                                              Explaining its significance, SG Lim said:
     of speeding up the restructuring of                                            “This year, we are going to do something
     the economy…” said SG Lim.                                                     different from before. This message on
                                                                                    ‘Better Customer’ means that we have to
                                                                                    learn how to appreciate the efforts of the
                                                                                    workers and treat all workers as equal.”
                                                                                       The energy bands come with the word
                                                                                  ‘Better’ emblazoned on it, signifying the
                                                                                 call for ‘Better Employers’, ‘Better Workers’
                                                                                and ‘Better Customers’.
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014   MAY DAY SPECIAL   3

Check out our May Day 2014 videos, news and
messages in various languages on NTUC U Portal:

                                                  May Day Resolution 2014
                                                  Today we have real wage growth. We want to sustain it and make it
                                                  even better.

                                                  Labour market is tight, productivity gain is still low, quality growth is
                                                  the way to go.

                                                  Businesses must be more innovative, more creative and make jobs
                                                  easier, smarter, safer for our workers.

                                                  We must succeed in making every worker a better worker, every job a
                                                  better job and every business a better business.

                                                  Today, as we celebrate May Day, we, the Labour Movement, strongly

                                                         Our Employers to value every worker more, accord them with
                                                         better treatment, opportunities and wages;
                                                         Our Workers to value their jobs more, take greater pride in
                                                         what they do and seize every opportunity to learn, adapt and be
                                                         ready for the future;
                                                         Our Tripartite Partners to further strengthen the trust
                                                         amongst us, and more importantly the trust of workers and
                                                         businesses in us; and
                                                         Our People to be more gracious consumers, treating all workers
                                                         with greater care and respect, and making things better for one

                                                  On this May Day, as we remember the steadfast conviction of
                                                  our pioneer generation of workers, unionists and tripartite
                                                  leaders, let us re-affirm:

                                                         Our Pledge to stand with workers of Singapore;
                                                         Our Commitment to Singapore Tripartism;
                                                         Our Symbiotic relationship with the People’s Action Party; and
                                                         Our Solidarity with the International Labour Movement.

                                                  Together, we pledge to build a stronger Labour Movement, a more
                                                  pervasive Tripartism, and a better home and brighter future for all
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
4 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

    May Day Messages

                                                            Amidst this transition, our goal remains unchanged: To
                                                            improve Singaporeans’ lives. An important strategy is to
                                                      develop better workers and create better jobs. This is the only
                                                      sustainable way to raise wages.”

                                                      productivity. We are also attracting high-      invest in workers, develop their skills, and
                                                      quality investments. Lucasfilm has set up its   make full use of their talents. Only then will
                                                      Sandcrawler base in Singapore, producing        the Government’s programmes bear fruit.
                                                      exciting digital movies for audiences           By working together, we strengthen our
                                                      worldwide. ExxonMobil just opened its           model of tripartism and keep it our lasting
                                                      second cracker on Jurong Island. We are         competitive advantage.
                                                      collaborating with our neighbours to create         Our Pioneer Generation overcame
                                                      more opportunities overseas, whether in         long odds to set Singapore on the path to
                                                      Iskandar Malaysia, our G-to-G projects in       development. In the unions, many pioneers
                                                      China or one of the five Vietnam-Singapore      fought the Communists and worked with
                                                      Industrial Parks. We are also expanding our     the Government to foster constructive
    Lee Hsien Loong                                   export markets through several free trade       labour-management relations, build a
    Prime Minister                                    agreements with the European Union and          competitive economy and deliver better
                                                      our Trans-Pacific partners.                     lives for all. We should honour them by

          ingapore is undergoing a major                 Developing better workers and creating       upholding their spirit, building on their
          transition. Our economy is upgrading        better jobs is our collective responsibility.   achievements and creating an even better
          qualitatively and not expanding as          Each tripartite partner must do their part:     Singapore for our children.
    quickly as before. Last year we grew 4.1% –       Workers must make the effort to train               I wish all Singaporeans a Happy
    a good performance. Wages and household           and upgrade themselves. Employers must          May Day!
    incomes rose broadly. This year we expect
    to grow 2 to 4%, which is typical of a more
    mature economy.
       We are strengthening our social safety
    nets to give every Singaporean more peace
    of mind. MediShield Life and the expanded
    Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
    will help cover every Singaporean’s medical
    needs. Permanent GST Vouchers will
    offset daily expenses. Larger subsidies for
    children’s education will benefit all families,
    especially the lower-income. The Pioneer
    Generation Package will honour and help
    the seniors who started us on this nation-
    building journey.
       Amidst this transition, our goal remains
    unchanged: To improve Singaporeans’ lives.
    An important strategy is to develop better
    workers and create better jobs. This is the
    only sustainable way to raise wages. We
    are upgrading workers’ skills by investing
    heavily in Continuous Education and
    Training (CET). We are building two new
    CET Institutes – the Devan Nair Institute
    for Employment and Employability in
    Jurong and the Lifelong Learning Institute
    in Paya Lebar. They will create more
    opportunities for workers to upgrade
    themselves and advance their careers.
       We are also creating better jobs for                                                                                   Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
                                                                                                                        greets a vetern unionist at the Pioneer
    Singaporeans. This year’s Budget included                                                                             Generation Tribute earlier this year.
    generous incentives to help companies raise
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014    MAY DAY SPECIAL       5

May Day Messages
Diana Chia
President                                                                                                                Our vision is to strive
National Trades Union Congress                                                                                           for Better Jobs for All,
                                                                                                                  Labour Movement for All and

         he profound transformation that                                                                          Tripartism for All. To achieve
         our economy is going through will                                                                        this we are working to
         have impact on workers.                                                                                  enhance the 4Ps - Protection,
   Our vision is to strive for Better Jobs
                                                                                                                  Progression, Placement and
for All, Labour Movement for All and
Tripartism for All. To achieve this we are                                                                        Privileges...”
working to enhance the 4Ps — Protection,
Progression, Placement and Privileges —
to deliver more value to all workers and                                                                          seamlessly to union membership upon
members, and help them through this                                                                               joining the workforce. Small and medium-
process of economic transformation to                                                                             sized enterprises (SMEs) employ a large
emerge even stronger and better off than                                                                          proportion of our workforce. We want to
before.                                         Organising Resource Centre in NTUC                                extend our outreach to these SMEs, so that
   For example, progression could mean          has also been supporting our unions in                            both businesses and workers can benefit.
breaking the “academic qualification” glass     organising new branches and increasing                            We do this because we believe that no
ceiling for non-graduates. Progression          membership penetration in existing                                worker should be deprived of the benefits
could also mean equal opportunities to          branches. Our various communities, from                           of union membership.
excel in work and family through flexible       nEbO to Young NTUC and from U Family                                  To achieve all these outcomes, strong
work arrangements for working mothers.          to U Live, have complemented our unions’                          tripartism is critical, not just at the
Protection could mean a broader scope           efforts in reaching out to a wider segment                        national level but also at the sectoral level.
of representation provided by our unions        of the workforce.                                                 I am happy to note that good progress has
for PMEs (Professionals, Managers and              We can do so much more. We are                                 been made by some sectors in this regard.
Executives) while better protection for         working closely with the Ministry of                              I reiterate the call for more Government
outsourced workers means that their             Manpower to amend the Industrial                                  agencies and employers to come forward so
salaries do not get cut each time their         Relations Act to allow stronger union                             that we can forge win-win-win outcomes
contract is being renewed. Placement of         representation of PMEs. We are paying                             for the workers, employers and the
mature PMEs could mean finding more             close attention to help nEbO graduates,                           Government.
opportunities in niche employment               who are our future workers, transit                                   Happy May Day to all workers!
areas and privileges for union leaders
could mean better recognition from the
management for the good work they do at
the workplaces. In short, we want to be able
to address the needs of different workers
and members in a more holistic manner.
   Achieving this will not be easy. It will
require the combined efforts of NTUC and
our partners. It will need a strong Labour
Movement that has a strong voice with
weight that can lead to positive change for
   One of the key measures of the Labour
Movement’s strength is whether we are
representative of the workforce, both in
numbers and profile of union members. In
a world where unionisation rates are falling,
our unionisation rate of resident workers
actually increased from 20% in 2002 to
27% in 2013.
   Credit must be given to our union
leaders on the ground for their tireless
efforts in reaching out to and keeping in
touch with the concerns of workers, as
well as making a positive difference for
them at the workplace. Our Membership           NTUC President Diana Chia with fellow unionists at the soft launch of NTUC’s U Flex movement earlier this year.
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
6 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

    May Day Messages
    Lim Swee Say
    Secretary-General                                                                                                      The tightening of the
    National Trades Union Congress
                                                                                                                           labour market will spur
                                                                                                                     a faster pace of economic

           ince our May Day celebrations last                                                                        restructuring. We must do our
           year, we have continued to make                                                                           best to minimise the downside
           progress.                                                                                                 and maximise the upside for
        Our economic growth is healthy. The
    labour market is tight. Best of all, wages                                                                       our workers and businesses.”
    continue to move up faster than inflation.
    These achievements are hard-earned. I
    salute our workers and tripartite partners                                                                       too. The globalised world thrives on mutual
    for their hard work, resilience and unity.                                                                       dependency, mutual support and mutual
        Even though we celebrate May Day                                                                             acceptance. Good services beget good
    amidst labour shortages, we should be                                                                            customers, and good customers beget good
    mindful that good jobs will always be the                                                                        services. As we strive to become a more
    best welfare and full employment the best                                                                        advanced economy, we must also strive to
    protection for our workers, both young                                                                           be a nation of better customers and better
    and old.                                                                                                         people.
        The tightening of the labour market                                                                             There is certainly much for us to
    will spur a faster pace of economic           global unemployment may not improve                                celebrate, and much for us to reflect on this
    restructuring. We must do our best to         as businesses embrace new technologies                             May Day. We can all change for the better
    minimise the downside and maximise the        and new methods to stay ahead. The                                 — every employer, every worker and every
    upside for our workers and businesses. If     increasingly widespread use of Cheaper,                            customer.
    not, the outcome of a failed restructuring    Better and Faster robots and cyber-based                              Do not wait for each other. Be the first
    will be painful for all.                      services is a case in point. The best way to                       to change.
        Imagine a future where rank-and-          attract more good jobs, create more good                              Together, we can make things better
    file workers are replaced by robots;          careers and sustain good wage growth for                           and emerge from this restructuring a
    Professionals, Managers and Executives        our workers is for us to value our jobs more                       better workforce, a better economy and a
    become underemployed; mature workers          and take greater pride in what we do.                              better society.
    cannot fit into workplaces that are not          Last but not least, as customers and                               Happy May Day to all workers of
    age-friendly; working parents, especially     consumers, we can change for the better                            Singapore!
    working mothers, face worsening work-
    life balance due to inflexible work
    arrangements; and low-wage workers
    are stuck in a world of cheap sourcing.
    If we allow these to happen, we will face
    higher unemployment not just because of
    job shortage, but also because of job and
    worker mismatches.
        Nobody wants to end up with such a
        This is why we are determined to keep
    upgrading skills, creating good jobs and
    keep growing our economic pie so that
    there is more for all to share. To succeed,
    all of us have to adjust our mindset and
    change our economy, our workforce and
    our society for the better.
        First, employers have to learn to make
    better use of every worker, and treat every
    worker better. The labour market will
    remain tight till 2020, and even tighter
    all the way to 2030. Competition for good
    people will not ease. Only better employers
    can attract and retain better people and
    grow more profitably.
        Second, in a world of job shortages,      NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say with veteran unionists at the Pioneer Generation Tribute earlier this year.
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014      MAY DAY SPECIAL    7

May Day Messages
Tan Chuan-Jin                                                                                                    be set up to assess the need for mandating
Acting Minister For Manpower                          It is important that                                       a PWM in the landscaping sector.
(Minister, with effect from 1 May 2014)                                                                              The Government is also fully committed
                                                      tripartite members
                                                                                                                 to helping companies transform their
                                                continue to work closely                                         existing business models, so that they
                                                together as we transform our                                     can create better job opportunities for
                                                economy to create higher-                                        our workers. We will continue to strongly
                                                                                                                 encourage businesses to innovate and
                                                value industries and quality
                                                                                                                 strive for productivity improvements and
                                                jobs for Singaporeans.”                                          in turn, raise the wages of our workers.
                                                                                                                     This process is not easy for employers
                                                                                                                 and I am heartened that our unions have
                                                                                                                 been actively engaging management
                                                skills, competencies and career prospects.                       partners to tap on different funding
                                                   Low-wage workers, in particular,                              programmes such as the Inclusive
                                                will need greater help in this new                               Growth Programme and Productivity
                                                environment. Much has been done to help                          and Innovation Credit to review business
                                                this group of workers. Let me also take                          processes, boost productivity and speed up
                                                this opportunity to laud NTUC’s efforts                          innovation.
                                                in engaging both service buyers and                                  Our strong tripartite partnership has
                                                service providers on best sourcing and in                        served us well in the past. This partnership
                                                spearheading the Progressive Wage Model                          is a competitive advantage for Singapore
                                                (PWM), which puts in place clear wage-                           as our economy restructures and we aim

          ur economy grew by 4.1% last year,    skill and career progression pathways for                        for more sustainable and inclusive growth.
          and is expected to grow between       workers. Service buyers who best source                          Singapore’s progress over the years is
          2 and 4% this year. Our labour        cleaning, landscape and security contracts                       testament to our strong fundamentals,
market remains tight with close to full         to service providers who adopt the PWM                           including our strong tripartism spirit. As
employment, and the real median income          can now receive funding support from the                         we look forward to meeting the challenges
for Singaporeans grew by 4.6% in 2013.          new Progressive Wage Incentive (PWI).                            of the future, it is important that the
    In the midst of this encouraging               The Government has agreed to                                  Government, employers and unions
economic and labour market environment,         incorporate the PWM for the cleaning                             continue to work closely together towards
this year’s May Day theme of ‘Better            sector as a licensing requirement for                            our common objective of making better
Workers, Betters Jobs’ is apt. As Singapore     cleaning companies. We will do so for the                        workers and better jobs, so as to create a
enters a new phase of development, we           security sector when the PWM for the                             better life for Singaporeans.
must continue with our restructuring            sector is ready. A tripartite body will also                         I wish everyone a very Happy May Day!
efforts. Only then can we achieve the
vision of making “better workers, better
jobs.” It is important that tripartite
members continue to work closely
together as we transform our economy to
create higher-value industries and quality
jobs for Singaporeans.
    The Government is committed to help
workers at all levels adapt to the new
economic environment.
    One key area is continuous learning
and skills upgrading. We are embarking
on a major review of the Continuing
Education and Training system to support
workers in upgrading their skills and
lifelong learning, so that they can seize the
new job opportunities that restructuring
will bring. The Workfare Training Support
Scheme will continue to support low-wage
workers and older workers to enhance
their employability. For the growing
pool of our Professionals, Managers and
Executives, we will continue to enhance
funding support to help deepen their            Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (middle) at the Best Sourcing Symposium earlier this year.
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
8 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

    May Day Messages
    Stephen Lee
    President                                                                                                                             As Singapore restructures
    Singapore National Employers Federation                                                                                               its economy, different
                                                                                                                                   sectors would face their own

              he Singapore economy grew by 4.1%                                                                                    set of challenges. SNEF will
              in 2013, up from 1.9% in 2012.                                                                                       reach out to employers in
              Employment growth in 2013 was                                                                                        specific sectors and work
    136,2001, the highest since the economic
    downturn in 2008/09. Inflation fell to                                                                                         with their industry unions
    2.4% from 4.6% in 2012. As a result, the                                                                                       to proactively tackle their
    real median monthly income (including                                                                                          challenges. The mutual trust
    employer CPF contributions) of workers                                                                                         and respect that we have
    grew 4.6% 2 in 2013, up from 1.2% in
    2012. For 2014, the Ministry of Trade and
                                                                                                                                   built up at the national level
    Industry had projected the economy to grow                  gainsharing, not only in terms of wages but                        must cascade down so that
    by between 2% and 4%. The unemployment                      in terms of better skills and jobs as well.                        tripartism is embraced at the
    rate is likely to remain low as the labour                  A good example of this cycle is NTUC’s
                                                                                                                                   sectoral level.”
    market continues to be tight.                               Progressive Wage Model (PWM) where
        Productivity growth was zero percent                    productivity, skills, jobs and wages move up
    in 2013. However, this was better than the                  in tandem.                                                         to make their workplaces more age- and
    negative 2% in 2012. Part of the reason was                     I therefore strongly encourage employers                       family-friendly. The WorkPro programme
    the slowdown in the employment growth of                    to consider and work with their unions to                          was initiated by the Ministry of Manpower
    foreign workers from 5.9% in 2012 to 4.2%                   implement the PWM to create better jobs                            and the Singapore Workforce Development
    in 2013. Employers must continue to make                    where better workers can work smarter to                           Agency and is led by NTUC and SNEF. Since
    better use of their manpower by enabling                    raise the productivity of their companies.                         WorkPro was launched, over 800 companies
    them to work better and smarter.                                Buoyed by a growing economy, more older                        have received assistance through this
        Firstly, employers must invest in training              workers and women are being employed.                              programme to implement work-life measures
    their workers to enhance their skills to take               The employment rate of workers aged 55                             and redesign jobs.
    on larger and higher job roles. Secondly,                   to 64 was 65.0%3 in 2013, up from 56.2%                                Tripartism has helped employers to
    they should engage and empower their                        in 2007. The employment rate for women                             overcome many economic and manpower
    workers to motivate them to give their best.                between ages 25 to 54 was 74.3% in 2013,                           challenges. NTUC has called for tripartism
    Thirdly, they need to cultivate a culture                   up from 68.8%. Flexible work arrangements                          to be more pervasive by strengthening
    for productivity at the workplace that                      are helping employers to retain older workers                      tripartism at the sectoral level. NTUC
    encourages innovation and continuous                        and women. Such flexibility also helps to                          has also led the formation of tripartite
    improvements in work processes and where                    attract the economically inactives, which in                       workgroups in cleaning, security,
    management and unions work together                         these age ranges number about 375,0004,                            landscaping, healthcare, hospitality and retail
    to foster harmonious labour-management                      into the workforce to ease some of the                             sectors, among others, to look into better
    relations so that measures to improve                       manpower shortages faced by employers.                             career progression for the workers in these
    productivity can be implemented smoothly.                       In particular, I urge employers to tap on                      sectors.
    This culture can be sustained when there is                 the WorkPro programme to embark on job                                 As Singapore restructures its economy,
    a virtuous cycle of productivity growth and                 redesign and flexible work arrangements                            different sectors would face their own set of
                                                                                                                                   challenges. SNEF will reach out to employers
                                                                                                                                   in specific sectors and work with their
                                                                                                                                   industry unions to proactively tackle their
                                                                                                                                   challenges. The mutual trust and respect
                                                                                                                                   that we have built up at the national level
                                                                                                                                   must cascade down so that tripartism is
                                                                                                                                   embraced at the sectoral level. In this way,
                                                                                                                                   all employers and workers can benefit from
                                                                                                                                   strong tripartism at both the national and
                                                                                                                                   sectoral levels.
                                                                                                                                       On behalf of our 3,000 employer
                                                                                                                                   members, I wish all workers a Happy
                                                                                                                                   May Day!

                                                                                                                                     Labour Market 2013, Ministry of Manpower
                                                                                                                                     Labour Market 2013, Ministry of Manpower
                                                                                                                                     Singapore Workforce, 2013, Ministry of Manpower
                        SNEF President Stephen Lee with tripartite partners at the Pioneer Generation Tribute earlier this year.   4
                                                                                                                                     Labour Force in Singapore, 2013, Ministry of Manpower
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014   WEEK IN REVIEW   9

Snapshots                                                    A quick round up of what went on in and around
                                                             the Labour Movement recently. By NTUC This Week Team

                                                                                                   PM Announces

U Membership Breakthrough Workshop
Union membership committee members, want to up your PMEs (Professionals, Managers
and Executives) numbers? The latest installment of this workshop series will arm you with
basic knowledge on PMEs coverage, representation and fundamental benefits for PMEs.

The U Membership Breakthrough Workshop series is designed to help you organise
branches, identify core benefits for different working life stages as well as strengthen your
union’s membership.

15 May, 9am to 5pm, NTUC Centre, One Marina Boulevard, $32 (after subsidies). Registration         Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (pictured above) has
is on a first-come first-served basis. For enquiries, call the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership   been promoted to a full Minister in the
Institute at 6213 8133 or email The next two workshops will take         Ministry of Manpower from 1 May 2014.
place on 28 August and 20 November.                                                                    Also promoted to full Minister in the
                                                                                                   Ministry of Culture, Community and
                                                                                                   Youth is Mr Lawrence Wong (pictured
              Happy At Work?                                                                       below).
               The Labour Movement will be lending its support to the first nationwide                 These announcements were made by
               Workplace Happiness Survey. The 30-questionnaire explores what potentially
               makes an employee happy at work and highlights the existing conditions that         Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who said
support or work against an employee’s well-being. Studies have shown that happy workers            in a statement that they have performed
are likely to contribute more to an organisation, which results in higher productivity.            well since taking office and mastered their
The survey, jointly conceived and organised by the Singapore Human Resources Institute             portfolios.
(SHRI) and Align Group, can help organisations identify gaps that need to be filled to build           PM Lee says both Mr Tan and Mr
a positive workforce. The results in this survey will also contribute to the first national        Wong have also worked hard on the
benchmark of workplace happiness in Singapore. Visit to have a
say now.                                                                                           ground, winning the respect and trust of
PM Lee: Unionists Acknowledge Competition Getting Fiercer                                              NTUC President Diana Chia
                                                                                                   congratulated Mr Tan on his promotion
It’s been a practice Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has adopted for several years now –
having a series of lunch discussions with unionists just before the May Day Rally to prepare       at the May Day Dinner on 29 April 2014
for his speech. And two groups of union leaders met him last week for these sessions. In a         where Mr Tan was Guest-of-Honour.
posting on his Facebook page, Mr Lee said the unionists were generally upbeat.                     She said that Mr Tan truly deserved this
    He said: “It has been a good year for their members. Wages are generally rising. Many          commendation.
industries are crying out for more workers. At the same time, competition is getting                   “Since taking over the portfolio,
fiercer.”                                                                                          many changes have taken place in a short
    PM Lee added that the unionists did have concerns, especially for two groups: older            period of time such as
workers and low-wage workers.
                                                                                                   the amendments to
    He stressed: “They know what the government is doing to help. They naturally would
like us to do more. But they also worry about getting workers to feel more urgently the            the Employment Act.
need to upgrade their skills and to adapt to the changes.”                                         The Labour Movement
    Mr Lee said he                                                                                 expects the relationship
will address these                                                                                 with the Ministry (of
issues at the May                                                                                  Manpower) to continue
Day Rally on 1 May                                                                                 to be warm
2014 which will
                                                                                                   and better,
be held at the new
Devan Nair Institute                                                                               progressing
for Employment                                                                                     ahead.”
and Employability,
which will also be its
official opening.
BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014

     Brother Teo Chee Hean
              Deputy Prime Minister
  Advisor to The Singapore Manual & Mercantile
                 Workers’ Union

             on being conferred the
     Medal of Honour Award

                                         The Singapore Manual & Mercantile
                                         Workers’ Union
                                         65 Lorong 24A Geylang The SMMWU Building
                                         Singapore 398589
                                         Tel: 6294 2481 Website:
   Nestlé Singapore (Pte) Ltd
         on being conferred the
   Plaque of Commendation
         (Star) Award

    DHL Global Forwarding
     (Singapore) Pte Ltd
         on being conferred the
   Plaque of Commendation

                                  The Singapore Manual & Mercantile
                                  Workers’ Union
                                  65 Lorong 24A Geylang The SMMWU Building
                                  Singapore 398589
                                  Tel: 6294 2481 Website:
12 MAY DAY DINNER NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

                      A Night Of Stars
             May Day celebrations get underway with a record number of recipients
                  receiving the prestigious May Day Awards in over 50 years.

     By Florina Oo

         t was an evening to celebrate   annual May Day Dinner on            Awards held in 1963.
         and honour the hard work        29 April 2014 at the Orchid            For the first time, the top
         of dedicated unionists and      Country Club, which was             award honour this year – Medal
     organisations who have sought       officiated by Guest-of-Honour       of Honour – was presented to
     to bring about better jobs and      Acting Minister for Manpower        two outstanding individuals who
     better workers with better          (Minister, with effect from 1       rendered distinguished services
     wages.                              May 2014) Tan Chuan-Jin.            to the Labour Movement.
        Some 1,600 guests                    A total of 105 awardees            They were Deputy Prime
     comprising tripartite partners      received the May Day Awards         Minister Teo Chee Hean and
     – senior government officials,      across 13 different categories.     Minister for Health Gan Kim
     company management and              This is the highest number of       Yong. (Refer to pages 18 and 19
     trade unionists – attended the      awardees since the first May Day    for full write-ups)

       Pervasive PWM, Tripartism
                elivering the opening address           She admitted that it will not be easy
                at the May Day Dinner, NTUC         as companies need to innovate their work
                President Diana Chia emphasised     processes to make the best use of every
       that economic growth must be driven by       resource.
       productivity improvements.                       Speaking on the Progressive Wage Model
           “Hence, we must continue to help         (PWM), she said there is a need to make it “as
       companies create better jobs that are more   pervasive as possible so that we can benefit
       productive, and at the same time, Easier,    not just rank-and-file workers, but also PMEs
       Safer and Smarter to benefit our workers,”   (Professionals, Managers and Executives) in
       she said.                                    all sectors.”
           President Chia also encouraged workers       She also urged Government agencies in
       to take advantage of every opportunity to    each sector to take the lead in guiding these       On this note, President Chia was heartened
       up-skill themselves.                         efforts.                                         to see PWM taking root in sectors such as
           “By becoming better workers, we ensure       “In short, we need strong and pervasive      cleaning, security and healthcare. However,
       that we can secure and retain better jobs    tripartism in every sector to drive this         there is a need to speed up efforts amid intense
       that are more productive,” she said.         qualitative shift,” she said.                    global competition, she added.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014   MAY DAY DINNER          13

                                         Tripartism, The Singapore Edge
                                           Tripartism and harmonious industrial relations will
                                              be more important as Singapore restructures.
                                                                                                                                  Singapore should aspire to build
                                                                                                                                  a fair and inclusive society where
                                                                                                                                  every Singaporean is given the
                                                                                                                                  opportunity to pursue dreams
                                                                                                                                  and compete fairly for job
                                                                                                                                  opportunities on a level playing
                                                                                                                                  field, with no one left behind.
                                                                                                                                      This, he said, is the spirit
                                                                                                                                  behind the Fair Consideration
                                                                                                                                  Framework (FCF) which will
                                                                                                                                  be introduced in August this
                                                                                                                                  year to institutionalise fair
                                                                                                                                  hiring practices for businesses
                                                                                                                                  operating in Singapore.

                                                                                                                                  UPLIFTING LOW-WAGE
                                          Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin (front) and NTUC Secretary-                  WORKERS
                                          General Lim Swee Say (behind Mr Tan) greeting guests at the event.                      Mr Tan stressed that special
                                                                                                                                  emphasis will go to uplift low-
                                          By Joshua Joseph                                                                        wage workers to build a more
                                                                                                                                  inclusive society.

A total of 105 awards were distributed          peaking at this year’s                introduction of the Tripartite                  Mr Tan cited NTUC’s e2i’s
          at May Day Awards this year.
                                                May Day Dinner,                       Mediation Framework (TMF)                   (Employment and Employability)
                                                Acting Minister for                   in 2011. The TMF aims to                    Inclusive Growth Programme
                                         Manpower (Minister, with                     provide an avenue for Managers              (IGP) as a useful initiative in
                                         effect from 1 May 2014) Tan                  and Executives who are union                helping low-wage workers gain
                                         Chuan-Jin highlighted that                   members and who earn up to                  higher wages.
                                         tripartism and harmonious                    $4,500 a month to seek remedy                   As at December 2013, the IGP
                                         industrial relations will be                 for their employment disputes               has already committed to helping
                                         “even more important going                   through a tripartite mediation              63,600 local low-wage workers
                                         forward as we progress on                    process. Many workplace                     from about 650 companies
                                         our restructuring journey”,                  disputes have been successfully             receive wage increases of about
                                         especially as Singapore focuses              resolved in the past three years.           15 per cent.
                                         on restructuring its economy                                                                 He also highlighted NTUC’s
                                         and raising productivity.                    COVERING MORE                               Progressive Wage Model (PWM)
                                            The restructuring efforts                 Mr Tan shared that the tripartite           which has put in place clear
                                         and productivity drive will be               partners are considering                    wage-skill and career progression
                                         for the long haul and Mr Tan                 widening its coverage by                    pathways for workers, thus
                                         assured that the Government                  removing the $4,500 salary cap              allowing them to earn wages
                                         will spare no effort to help                 and allowing more Managers                  that commensurate with skills,
                                         businesses restructure and                   and Executives other than those             productivity and responsibilities.
                                         improve their productivity. It               with substantial managerial                     Mr Tan said: “The PWM is now
                                         will also provide Singaporeans               responsibilities to make use of it.         our unique tripartite approach for
                                         with all the support they need                   Mr Tan said: “The NTUC has              specific sectors that suffer from
                                         to upgrade and re-skill.                     been requesting that we further             prevalent cheap-sourcing coupled
                                                                                      strengthen this new mechanism               with limited bargaining power on
                                         LOOKING AHEAD                                as a sustainable way to deal                the part of the workers. For such
                                            As Singapore looks to                     with workplace disputes and                 sectors, the Government will
                                         progress ahead, Mr Tan said                  grievances, I fully support this.”          legislate the tripartite-negotiated
                                         that as long as tripartite                       He added that the partners              Progressive Wage Model.”
                                         partners ultimately share                    are also considering to expand                  In closing, Mr Tan reiterated:
                                         a win-win mindset and                        the already substantive list                “As long as we keep together
                                         stand guided by a common                     of issues that can be heard                 as one… I’m confident that we
                                         conviction of creating a better              through the TMF. The Ministry               will continue to make Singapore
                                         future for Singapore, he was                 of Manpower will announce the               a land of opportunities… we
                                         confident of seeing success.                 details when the review of TMF              ultimately are trying to build a
                                            This common conviction                    is completed.                               place that we can all proudly call
                                         was apparent with the                            Mr Tan also urged that                  our home,” he said.
14 EVENTS NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

                                                         What’s                                                                                                      Table Tennis
                                                                                                                                                                     An invigorating workout and a great way to

                                                                                                                                                                     meet new friends! What’s not to love about table
                                                                                                                                                                     tennis? Round up your fellow kakis and get the
                                                                                                                                                                     ball flying!

                                                                                                                                                               Aranda Country Club Pool Pavilion*, 60 Pasir Ris
                                                                                                                                                    Drive 3. From $1/hr. For enquiries, call 6584 6811 ext 30 or

                                                                                                                                                    * Subject to availability.

                3D/2N Port Dickson Tour                                                                                               Fair Employment Practices
               From a splashing good time                                                                                             Information Session
               at the water theme park to an                                                                                      Employers and HR practitioners, it’s time to get the big picture
               adventurous river safari cruise                                                                                    on fair employment practices. Come and find out why you should
     to exciting sea sports activities, there’s                                                                                   implement non-discriminatory recruitment practices; what is
     never a dull moment at Port Dickson.                                                                                      meant by fair employment and how you can be a fair employer. The
     14 to 16 Jun, Assemble at Aranda Country                                                                        session will also provide you with tips and practical examples on producing
     Club (60 Pasir Ris Drive 3) Lobby at                                                                            non-discriminatory job advertisements as well as how to attract, retain and
     6.15am sharp on 14 Jun, $245/$228                                                                               develop the best talent for your organisation.
     (Member/Child aged between 3 to 12), $250/$233 (Union Member/Child),                                            Every first Tues of the month starting from Jun, 3.30pm – 5pm, Tripartite
     $255/$238 (Guest/Child), Book by 7 Jun. For full itinerary and other details,                                   Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), 51 Bras Basah
     log on to and look under “Sports & Recreation”.                                           Road, Manulife Centre, #04-07. To register, log on to and look
     For bookings and enquiries, call 6584 6811 ext 30 or email                                                      under “Events”. For enquiries, email or call 6838 0969.

                                                                                                                                     Unleash The Dragon In You
                Job Fair For
                Transport And                                                                                                    Celebrate the Chinese
                                                                                                                                 Dumpling Festival and
                 Logistics Industry                                                                                              do your part for charity!
               Be part of the industry which                                                                                    Put up your paddles
              revolves around the world.                                                                             and join in this Dragon Boating
     Immediate part-time and full-time                                                                               event organised by nEbO where
     vacancies available for Drivers (Bus/                                                                           you will get to engage in a friendly
     Prime Mover), Logistics Assistants, Packers, Customer Service Officers,                                         mini-competition with invited
     Warehouse Assistants and Equipment Operators.                                                                   beneficiaries.

     21 May, 2pm-4pm, Level 1, Registration Hub, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and                                          24 May, 9am – 1pm, Bedok Reservior.
     Employability Institute), 80 Jurong East St 21. To register, log on to                               For enquiries, email Cheng Guan at
     and look under “Upcoming Events”.

                            Want to list your upcoming event? Drop us an email at


      MANAGING EDITOR                               WRITERS                                                        ADVERTISING BOOKINGS/QUERIES
      SHONA TAN-JAMES          JOSHUA JOSEPH MARIMUTHU              Phone 6622 7009
      EDITOR-AT-LARGE                               NICHOLAS LEE                          Email
      MARCUS LIN             FLORINA OO                              PUBLISHER
      EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS                         ART DIRECTOR                                                   MAJORITY MEDIA PTE LTD
      LIM LI YIN                  DANIEL GOH                              Address 73 Bras Basah Road, NTUC Trade Union House
      RAMESH SUBBARAMAN         SENIOR DESIGNERS                                               #06-01 Singapore 189556
                                                    MOHAMED NASUHAR SOEYOETI                   Phone +65 6622 7098 Fax +65 6327 5640
      NICOLETTE YEO       RYANNE NG                                Email
      GURMEET SINGH       SUBSCRIPTION                                                   PRINTER
      SENIOR WRITER                                 JENNY LIAU                      TIMES PRINTERS PTE LTD
      NASEEMA BANU MAIDEEN                                                                     © Copyright 2014 The publisher owns the copyright to all photographs and articles in this publication.
                                                                                                                   No photograph or article may be reproduced in part or in full without the consent of the publisher.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            C100 M0 Y0 K0   C50 M0 Y100 K0   C15 M0 Y100 K0

                                                 The Labour Movement, Now Closer To U On The Go!
                    IPHONE & IPAD                Scan here for mobile app My NTUC featuring exclusive content: get the latest news, special offers, merchants listing and a lot more!                               ANDROID
16 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

                                            The Winners!
        A record high of 105 individuals and companies are honoured at
        this year’s May Day Dinner for their contributions to the Labour
           Movement. We are proud to showcase a few of them here…
      By Joshua Joseph and Florina Oo

    Distinguished Service (Star)

                                                                       Mr Ng Ser Miang
                                                                       Chairman, NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited

                                                                       Key Achievements:
                                                                       ➩ Helped FairPrice achieve outcomes it had set out in its five-year
                                                                          strategic plan ahead of schedule.
                                                                       ➩ Pivotal in fulfilling FairPrice’s social mission of offering affordable
                                                                          products to workers and union members.
                                                                       ➩ FairPrice grew its housebrand product offerings which provide
                                                                          10 to 15 per cent savings compared to national brands; Union
                                                                          members enjoy benefits such as patronage rebates of over $215
                                                                          and $80.3 million LinkPoints on purchases in the last five years
                                                                          as well as free used textbooks and study grants with FairPrice;
                                                                          FairPrice now has 280 outlets in multiple formats serving 500,000
                                                                          customers daily.
                                                                       ➩ Drove FairPrice’s contribution of $40 million to the Labour
                                                                          Movement, FairPrice’s customers, employees and the less-
                                                                          privileged when the co-operative celebrated its 40th Anniversary.
               I am honoured to be conferred this prestigious          ➩ Played an instrumental role in the incorporation of NTUC FairPrice
               award, but more importantly, it is a dedication            Foundation Ltd in 2008, which has managed to raise $76 million
        to the many supporters of FairPrice, including the                for the community to date.
        unions and union leaders and a tribute to fellow               ➩  Led  NTUC Choice Homes Co-operative Limited to become a
        board members, management and staff for their
                                                                          premier property developer recognised for affordable quality
                                                                          housing as the founding Chairman in February 1996.
        hard work and contribution to the community.”

    Comrade of Labour (Star)

        Mr Nachiappan RK Sinniah
        General Secretary, Union of Power and Gas Employees (UPAGE)

        Key Achievements:
        ➩ Continued to maintain constructive and proactive labour-management
           relations in the industry. In 2010, UPAGE rallied the industry, the Energy
           Market Authority and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to
           launch the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications framework for the
           energy sector.
        ➩ Launched the UPAGE Endowment Fund with strong support from
           management partners.
        ➩ Nurtured a pool of younger leaders at UPAGE, involving them in union
           projects and giving them exposure to high level discussions with and outside
           the union.

               I humbly accept this award and dedicate it to all the members
               who have given their support since the formation of UPAGE.
        The camaraderie of fellow UPAGE Executive Council members and
        delegates made the service to the union possible. Special thank
        you to Singapore Power for their support, represented companies’
        management partners for the good industrial relationship and the
        Labour Movement for the recognition...”
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014   MAY DAY DINNER   17

Medal of Commendation (Gold)

     Mr Liak Teng Lit                                                                                                        The award
     Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandra Health System                                                            came as a
     Board Member, NTUC Unity Healthcare Co-operative Limited                                                        pleasant surprise and
                                                                                                                     I thank NTUC for the
     Key Achievements:                                                                                               recognition. It has
     ➩ Instrumental in the launch of the Healthcare Cluster                                                          been my privilege
        Tripartite Workgroup and the Progressive Wage Model                                                          to work closely
        for the Healthcare Cluster.                                                                                  with NTUC over the
     ➩ This resulted in cluster-wide productivity improvements,                                                      years. By helping
        making jobs Easier, Smarter and Safer (ESS) for workers.                                                     our staff reach their
     ➩ Under his leadership, Alexandra Health System has                                                             full potential and
        built a culture of valuing its workers and practiced re-                                                     improving their work
        employment before the introduction of the Retirement                                                         conditions, we are
        and Re-employment Act in 2012.                                                                               able to serve our
     ➩ Leads by example and constantly pushes workers and the                                                        patients better. I look
        organisation to innovate and generate creative solutions                                                     forward to many more
        that drive productivity and service improvements.                                                            years of collaboration
                                                                                                                     with NTUC to Do
                                                                                                                     Good and Do Well for
                                                                                                                     our people.”

   Comrade of Labour
                                                                      Ms Joanne Chua Chor Hian
                                                                      Assistant General Secretary, Singapore Industrial & Services
                                                                      Employees’ Union (SISEU)

                                                                      Key Achievements:
            This                                                      ➩ Despite her busy schedule, she never fails to follow-
            award is                                                     up on union cases and goes the extra mile to assist
     recognition to                                                      members.
     my efforts and                                                   ➩ At the end of each month, she will initiate updates to
     motivates me to                                                     the union’s Executive Committee.
     give my best to                                                  ➩ To groom Branch Officials, she readily shares her
     serve longer in                                                     experiences and exposes them to different industrial
     the union.”                                                         relations matters.

 Medal of Commendation

    Mr Joseph Yong Soo Kyun
    Chief Operating Officer, NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd

    Key Achievements:
    ➩ Meaningful dialogues between the unions – Metal Industries                                                                 Without the
       Workers’ Union (MIWU) and NatSteel Employees’ union –                                                                     workers’
       has led to improved welfare of workers, while supporting                                                         contribution,
       union causes and events.                                                                                         NatSteel would not
    ➩ With his support, the company and unions reached mutual                                                           be where we are
       agreement on increment in allowances and better pay for                                                          today. We believe
       workers through Collective Agreement negotiations.                                                               in treating workers
    ➩ Launched a productive scheme at NatSteel so that employees                                                        fairly to earn their
       who regularly improve their productivity get rewarded and                                                        trust and loyalty.
       earn better pay.                                                                                                 I am grateful to
    ➩ Committed to ensuring re-employed workers at NatSteel                                                             the union, workers
       retain the same salary package, with no changes to medical                                                       and NTUC for
       benefits. He chairs the Re-employment Review Committee                                                           recognising our
       at the unions level to review all appeal cases of workers                                                        joint efforts to
       certified as unfit to work to ensure that everyone is given fair                                                 make workers’
       consideration and eliminate age discrimination.                                                                  lives better.”
18 MAY DAY DINNER NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

                                                                                              Medal Of Honour
                                                                                              Teo Chee Hean
                                                                                              Deputy Prime Minister
                                                                                              Co-ordinating Minister for National Security
                                                                                              Minister for Home Affairs
                                                                                              Chairman of Council of Advisors, United Workers of Electronics
                                                                                              & Electrical Industries
                                                                                              Advisor of The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union

                                                                                              Nominated by
                                                                                              National Trades Union Congress

                                                                                              Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also
                                                                                              Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and
                                                                                              Minister for Home Affairs, has been the Advisor
                                                                                              of The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’
                                                                                              Union (SMMWU) and the Chairman of the United
                                                                                              Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries
                                                                                              (UWEEI) Council of Advisors since 2000 and 2004
                                                                                                  Besides bringing to the unions a wealth of
     Mr Teo Chee Hean (right) receiving his award from NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say.   experience, Brother Chee Hean is a strong believer
                                                                                              in harmonious labour-management relations
                                                                                              and helps ensure that the well-being and welfare
       The Interview                                                                          of workers are taken care of. His strong support
                                                                                              for unions’ initiatives has led to a high level of
       Ramesh Subarraman catches up with Mr Teo Chee Hean                                     participation from management and union leaders,
       to get his thoughts on key labour issues on the occasion of                            bringing about productivity improvements, skills
       being conferred the Medal of Honour award.                                             upgrading, as well as enhanced employability and
                                                                                              prospects for workers.
       ON HELPING WORKERS…                                                                        From 2010 till 2011, Brother Chee Hean
       “UWEEI faces a very challenging situation because technology is evolving               chaired the National Productivity and Continuing
       so quickly, companies are looking for the most cost effective, cost efficient          Education Council (NPCEC). As a strong believer
       places to site their factories in and the whole industry is so volatile. So our        of how tripartism is a constructive arrangement
       Brothers and Sisters in UWEEI are having constantly to adjust to this cycle, new       that leads to benefits for workers, he included
       technologies cycle, the possibility of retrenchments, retraining of skills, and so     union leaders and Labour Movement (LM)
       on... I get to meet the bosses of the electronics companies through the unions…        representatives in the Council. Under his
       we get down to issues such as skills upgrading, the kinds of programmes we             leadership, NPCEC developed strategies that
       have in place, and it is the unions which brief the bosses on the various skills       improve national productivity and promote close
       upgrading programmes, the various schemes that we have in place to help them           collaboration amongst the business sector, workers,
       employ, retain workers even in this very challenging environment.”                     unions and the public sector. During his tenure,
                                                                                              he contributed significantly to the LM’s efforts to
       ON PRODUCTIVITY CHALLENGES…                                                            assist low-wage workers through his endorsement
       “...While we were promoting productivity across all sectors in Singapore, one          of the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP). The
       particular group which was paid attention to were the low-wage workers. So             $100 million IGP launched in 2010, administered
       we had a special scheme, the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP), to look after           by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability
       our low-wage workers. We put aside $40 million dollars and we wanted to help           Institute), spurred companies to share productivity
       address the concerns of 25,000 low-wage workers in Singapore to make sure              gains with their low-wage workers as part of their
       that in the process of increasing skills levels and productivity in Singapore…         productivity roadmap.
       these workers, too, have the opportunity to benefit and upgrade themselves…”               As the Minister in charge of the Civil Service,
                                                                                              Brother Chee Hean provides guidance on various
       ON TRIPARTISM IN SINGAPORE…                                                            manpower-related policies for the public sector.
       “It requires first of all sincerity on all sides, workers and unions, the companies    This led to many changes including the review
       and the government, and a commitment to want to make it work… When you                 of the re-employment policy which makes it
       develop a co-operative stance, you see the benefits of it in terms of long-term        more equitable for Civil Service Officers and
       employment, in terms of upgrading of skills, higher salaries that come along           enhancements to the Medisave-cum-Subsidised
       with it and a stable and peaceful harmonious industrial environment that               Outpatient (MSO) scheme.
       attracts even more investors and jobs for the future... (The Government) will              For his significant contributions to the Labour
       continue to work together with the unions to make sure the workers are treated         Movement, the National Trades Union Congress is
       fairly and they will continue to have a good life and good salaries in Singapore.”     pleased to present Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee
                                                                                              Hean with the Medal of Honour Award.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014   MAY DAY DINNER          19

                                                                                        Medal Of Honour
                                                                                        Gan Kim Yong
                                                                                        Minister for Health
                                                                                        Chairman of Singapore Labour Foundation
                                                                                        Chairman of Council of Advisors, Singapore Industrial &
                                                                                        Services Employees’ Union

                                                                                        Nominated by
                                                                                        National Trades Union Congress

                                                                                        Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has been the
                                                                                        Chairman of the Singapore Industrial & Services
                                                                                        Employees’ Union (SISEU) Council of Advisors
                                                                                        since 2012. A man with a heart for workers, he
                                                                                        understands the concerns and challenges that they
                                                                                        face at the workplace, and remains committed
                                                                                        to championing their rights. At the same time,
                                                                                        he reinforces the importance of maintaining
                                                                                        good labour-management relations, and strong
                                                                                        tripartism in Singapore
                                                                                            Brother Kim Yong is also the Chairman of the
                                                                                        Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) since 2011.
Mr Gan Kim Yong (right) receiving his award from NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say.   As the Chairman, he steers the strategic direction
                                                                                        of SLF and sharpens its core role. Through
                                                                                        prudent investments and assets restructuring,
     The Interviewys                                                                    he ensures effective funding support to the
                                                                                        Labour Movement to scale up and sustain
     Ramesh Subarraman chats with Mr Gan Kim Yong on                                    various membership and leadership development
     the recession, unionists and trust.                                                initiatives, as well as programmes targetted at
                                                                                        various groups of workers and union members.
     ON BEATING THE 2009 RECESSION…                                                     Under his leadership, SLF and NTUC work
     “First, we had to ensure that the workers would be able to retain their jobs       through NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited
     for as long as possible... we then had to help companies survive the crisis        to expand and deepen the social impact of NTUC’s
     so that they can preserve the jobs for the workers. And when workers are           social enterprises.
     facing these challenges, they may need to make adjustments, companies                  When Brother Kim Yong was the Manpower
     may have to adopt cost-cutting measures, we needed to find ways to help            Minister, he played a critical role in building a
     the companies make the adjustments… We needed to think about various               first class Continuing Education and Training
     schemes and programmes so that we could roll out these programmes to               system to develop a globally competitive
     help the workers and employers in time… we also had to bear in mind how to         Singapore workforce, and stepped up productivity
     take the opportunity of this recession to prepare ourselves better when the        improvements to enhance manpower capability.
     economy recovers. (One way was) to step up on our productivity efforts and         During the 2009 economic recession, he worked
     training so that when the economy recovered in time, we would be able to           closely with NTUC and tripartite partners, and
     catch the upswing well.”                                                           swiftly introduced the Jobs Credit Scheme and the
                                                                                        Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience
     ON A HEART FOR UNIONISTS…                                                          that helped companies cut costs and save jobs, as
     “I still remember when I first met many of them, I tended to be focussed a lot     well as upgrade skills of their employees during
     on government policies... On one occasion, one of the more senior unionists        the downturn.
     told me, ‘Mr Gan, what is most important in your interaction with the                  Brother Kim Yong was also instrumental
     workers is to tell them that you care about them. If you can convince them         in developing manpower policies that meet
     that you care about them, they will listen to your explanation, they will accept   the challenges of Singapore’s rapidly changing
     what you are doing is for their benefit’...”                                       business environment. These include the
                                                                                        introduction of the Central Provident Fund LIFE
     ON THE TRUST MANTRA…                                                               scheme and the re-employment legislation. He
     “One particular area which we need to pay attention to is how to strengthen        led the Tripartite Committee on Employability
     this mutual trust among the government, workers and employers. Every               of Older Workers and the Tripartite Panel on
     time, when we make adjustments to policies, whether it is adjustment to            Community Engagement at Workplaces, and
     CPF contribution rate or adjustment to foreign worker levy or employment           served as the Advisor to the Tripartite Alliance for
     practices, it will benefit some but it may hurt some other stakeholders. But       Fair Employment Practices.
     if we are able to strengthen this mutual trust and common (understanding),             For his significant contributions to the Labour
     then we can bring all parties together to understand that in whatever we do,       Movement, the National Trades Union Congress
     it is always for the benefit of Singapore and Singaporeans...”                     is pleased to present Minister Gan Kim Yong with
                                                                                        the Medal of Honour Award.
20 PROGRESSION NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014

        Licensing The Cleaning Business
                   Cleaning businesses are getting all the help they need to
                        prepare for licensing that’s around the corner.
     By Naseema Banu Maideen

                 ith just about five                   revised definitions of cleaning
                 more months to go                     job types (refer to Table).                    Revised Progressive Wage Model
                 before all general                        “We have received feedback                                                                         Group 3:
                                                                                                    Group 1:                      Group 2:                   Conservancy
     cleaning businesses in Singapore                  from them that it could really         Office & Commercial            F&B Establishment            e.g. Public Cleansing
     have to be licensed before 1                      be a challenge for them to                  Cleaners                   e.g. Hawker Centre,
                                                                                                                                                          Truck Drivers (Class 4/5)
     September 2014, NTUC is                           meet the definitions that           e.g. Office, Schools, Hospitals         Foodcourts
                                                                                             and Polyclinics Cleaners
     steadily working closely with                     were given under the original
                                                                                                                                                          Supervisor / Mechanical
     service buyers and service                        recommendations. That was                   Supervisor                      Supervisor
                                                                                                     $1,600                          $1,600
     providers to ease them into the                   the reason why we made some                                                                                $1,600

     licensing regime.                                 refinements to actually reflect         Multi-Skilled Cleaners
                                                                                                                              Multi-skilled Cleaners       Multi-skilled Cleaners
                                                                                                                             cum Machine Operator         cum Machine Operator
         The Environmental Public                      on the practice on the ground,”        cum Machine Operator                   $1,400                 / Refuse Collector
                                                                                                      $1,400                                                      $1,400
     Health Amendment Bill came                        he added.
                                                                                                                               Dishwasher / Refuse
     into force on 1 April 2014.                                                               Outdoor Cleaners /               Collector $1,200              General Cleaners
     Since then, only 70 out of the                    INTRODUCTION OF                         Healthcare Cleaners                                                $1,200
     over 900 cleaning companies                       GUIDING PRINCIPLE                                                       Table-top Cleaners
     in Singapore have submitted                       As a guiding principle, workers           General / Indoor
                                                                                                    Cleaners                    General Cleaners
     their application, said NTUC                      whose job responsibilities fall                                              $1,000
     Assistant Secretary-General                       into more than one job category
     Zainal Sapari at a media briefing                 shall be deemed to be in the
     on 25 April 2014 held at                          job category that he spends
     NTUC’s e2i (Employment and                        a majority of his time in, and        one new category called
     Employability Institute).                         thus, the corresponding wage          ‘Multi-Skilled Cleaners cum                        In the lead-up to September
         According to him, the                         level will apply.                     Machine Operators’.                                2014, the TCC has committed
     Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners                                                     ➩   The ‘Class 3 Mechanical                            to the following ongoing
     (TCC), which was set up in                        REVISIONS TO                          Drivers’classification will                        outreach efforts:

     October 2012, has held several                    PROGRESSIVE WAGE                      now just be ‘Mechanical
                                                                                                                                                a) Stage 1: Preparing
     discussions to gather feedback                    MODEL FOR CLEANING                    Drivers’.                                             Cleaning Service Buyers
     from industry players.                            INDUSTRY                                                                                    and Service Providers
         When the TCC met on 2                         ➩ ‘Out-Patient and                REVISED DEFINITIONS OF                                    n The National

                                                                                                                                                     Environment Agency
     April 2014, it made refinements                      ‘In-Patient’ cleaners are      CLEANING JOB TYPES                                          (NEA), is working on
     in three key areas based on                          now both classified under      ➩ Inclusion of definitions for                              a leaflet to provide
     the feedback – introduction of                       ‘Healthcare Cleaners’.            the various cleaning jobs                                licensing information to
                                                                                                                                                     relevant parties.
     guiding principle, revisions to                   ➩ ‘Multi-Skilled Cleaners’           referred to in the PWM.
     the Progressive Wage Model                           and ‘Machine Operators’        ➩ Modification of existing                             b) Stage 2: Reaching out
     for the cleaning industry and                        will be combined under            definitions.                                           to Cleaners
                                                                                                                                                   n Information kits will be

                                                                                                                                                      created to share with
                                                                                                                                                      cleaners on the TCC
                                                                                                                                                   n These kits will be

                                                                                                                                                      distributed to U Care
                                                                                                                                                      members and union
                                                                                                                                                      members who are
                                                                                                                                                      cleaners, those who
                                                                                                                                                      attend the NTUC
                                                                                                                                                      U Care Centre’s
                                                                                                                                                      outreach events.

                                                                                                                                                c) Stage 3: Educating
                                                                                                                                                   the Public
                                                                                                                                                   n Leveraging on social

                                                                                                                                                      media platforms as
                                                                                                                                                      well as websites of the
                                                                                                                                                      respective tripartite
                                                                                                                                                      partners, information
     Workers in the cleaning industry can now look forward to progressive wages.
                                                                                                                                                      will be disseminated
                                                                                                                                                      to educate the public,
       In a recent survey conducted by the Building Construction And Timber Industries                                                                who can act as
       Employees’ Union (BATU), 6,690 cleaners from 32 unionised cleaning companies are already                                                       whistleblowers against
                                                                                                                                                      companies who do
       benefitting from the Progressive Wage Model ahead of the licensing legislation. This makes
                                                                                                                                                      not comply with the
       up about 67 per cent of all cleaners who are union members under BATU. BATU has 48                                                             licensing.
       unionised cleaning companies.
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel