The letter below has been submitted by SL Hian, 43.
There are two pieces of news you can cheer about.
First, this – It won’t be long now before a labour tribunal is setup to help those caught in pay disputes with their employers. The tribunal will open its doors to all local employees, regardless of how much they earn.
Second – a mediation panel that now helps professionals, executives and managers (PMEs) who are union members resolve problems with their bosses. 600,000 or so local workers who are union members will benefit from this.
Between the two, the impact of the tribunal will be more wide-ranging as it stands to benefit all 2.1 million local workers.
Instead of having to take on costly civil suits, workers now have the protection of the labour tribunal and the mediation panel.
Today, a labour tribunal is already in existence. However, if you earn above $4500 you will have to take on a civil suit, which can be costly. The plan now is for ALL workers to have access to the small claims labour tribunal.
The NTUC has put in extra effort to fight for the setup of the mediation panel. This is an extra layer of defence for unionised workers. Not all employees want to take their employers to court or to a tribunal – if matters could be resolved through mediation, it would save everyone a lot of trouble.
Spread the message around – it is important that more know about their rights, the tools and the organisations they can turn to for help.