10 Highlights from the May Day Rally

lim swee say


If you missed the May Day Rally this morning, here are 10 bite sized nuggets for you to take away really quickly:


10. Industrial peace in Singapore did not come by accidentally.

Labour Day around the world is marked by strikes, industrial action and protests. Singapore is one of the anomalies that observes the day through celebration, music and speeches. What gave us this peace? In a word: tripartism. Tripartism is the collaboration of employers, government and unions, working towards a universal good for Singaporeans is a dream chased by many countries but failed. The fact that Singapore enjoys this, was made possible only through the building of a nation from a clean slate.


9. Employers, workers and customers all depend on one another and have a role to play in making things better for each other.

The relationship is interdependent on each other and makes everyday life and work a little more pleasant if we just acknowledged this fact.


8.Let us be more tolerant of each other

Because employers, employees and customers don’t exist in silos, we need to be more tolerant of each other. Watch this video to understand more about the quite people that work, so that you can in turn do yours.


7. Workers who want to work beyond 65 are assured of their rights

This includes lifting the retirement age, so that workers are not forced to retire early by their employers.


6. The establishment made a bold move by naming a facility, the “Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability”

Interpret it however you will, it shows that the establishment does not hold grudges of bitterness long past and that good work done by comrades of the past should be honoured.


5. The NTUC was not always the dominant labour congress.

Once upon a time, there was the Barisan Socialis aligned, Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU). Unionists defeated the pro-Communists in SATU and enabled the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to assume its leadership role.


4. Low-wage workers are being given special focus

The past few years saw the implementation of the Progressive Wage Model and reinforcements to WorkFare. Both NTUC and the MoM are working towards narrowing the income gap and they have set targets to see this happen.


3. Singapore is an expensive place to do business, but has special benefits that businessmen seek.

By staying open and connected to the world, supporting free trade and investments like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, we expand Singapore’s export markets and attract more investments to the country. Singapore is known for hardworking, skilled, knowledge based and innovation-driven workers. Peace, stability and good infrastructure provides for fertile ground that businesses need to grow.


2. We do not live in a perfect world, but we try hard to make Singapore a little more perfect. – NTUC Secretary General Lim Swee Say 

The Sec-Gen acknowledges that Singapore is not perfect – ERP, COE, floods, congestions and the griefs of Singaporeans is understood and felt by all. However, the entire governing machinery is working very hard to make Singapore a little more perfect for everyone.


1. “Singapore works, because you work” – PM Lee

Yes, Prime Minister – we thought this was a sweet message :)






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