NTUC Secretary General, Ng Chee Meng, shares heartfelt National Day Message

National Day

“As Singapore marks our 57th birthday, let us celebrate the fruits of our resilience, preserving spirit and strategic wisdom.”

57 years of nation building, the journey hasn’t been easy. This year, with the stabilised Covid situation, many are looking forward to celebrating National Day the coming week! However, the geo-strategic tensions and economic outlook continue to pose challenges. Cost of living issues continue to plague the average Singaporean worker. Beyond that, there are other pains. Singapore’s workforce needs and aspirations are evolving – how can we stay relevant and continue to progress?

As NTUC Secretary General, Mr Ng Chee Meng shared in his National Day message, “NTUC is no stranger to these challenges. In fact, NTUC was born amidst the challenging industrial relations landscape 60 years ago. We have been championing workers’ needs and rights since.” Indeed, NTUC has journeyed with workers over the decades and done good work. From support initiatives, to upskilling initiatives, many Singaporeans have benefited!

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Labour Chief Ng Chee Meng with NTUC President Mary Liew, and the NTUC marching contingent!

This is the compact that NTUC has built with workers of Singapore – one that is built on trust and commitment.

Co-creating the Future

NTUC is now casting their vision forward to co-create the future with all workers of Singapore.

For younger workers, an area of focus will be on the future workforce – our youth. NTUC recently formed the Youth Taskforce to engage them and gain deeper insights into their work-life needs to better support them. Youths can reach out to NTUC to share their thoughts!

NTUC has also been also working hard to enhance the protection of PMEs! How can they stay relevant in the technological age? For example, more than 700 logistics staff under Lazada Singapore will pick up skills to prepare them for new jobs and be adept at using technology, robotics and automation at the workplace. This comes as the e-commerce company signed a MOU with the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union (FDAWU) to set up a company training committee (CTC).

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For self-employed workers such as platform workers, they deserve to have better work conditions and medical coverage. The National Delivery Champions Association has done good work in supporting our delivery riders throughout the pandemic. Many of them have reached out to share their concerns. Can NTUC do more in the years to come as the number grows?

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For women workers, NTUC advocates for family-friendly practices such as flexible work. Labour MP Yeo Wan Ling aims to encourage our employers to open their minds to a new progressive workplace and work arrangements, and make these the norm and mainstay in the Singaporean workforce culture.

For lower-wage workers, NTUC wants to expand the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) to cover more lower-wage workers. Progressive wages and workfare schemes will continue to be key thrusts in Singapore’s efforts to uplift our lower-wage workers.

For the older workers, NTUC championed for the extension of retirement age and restoration of CPF rates for those who wish to stay longer in the workforce. They also pledged to support older workers in upskilling to stay relevant.

Cost of living is a growing concern for many of us, NTUC believes the sustainable way to cope with inflation is to help workers gain better skills to take up better jobs with better pay. Social enterprises such as NTUC FairPrice have also supported many Singaporeans through initiatives such as moderating prices of essentials and offering discounts for seniors!

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We have much to celebrate this National Day.

As Singapore marks our 57th birthday, we have much to celebrate but we must be mindful of the challenges ahead. The NTUC has pledged to innovate, refresh compact and set bold directions forward with Singaporeans to co-create the future. Will you partcipate?

Happy National Day to all workers of Singapore!