The Labour Movement has committed to growing and expanding the U Associate (UA) Programme as its “second wing” on top of maintaining its “first wing” – pushing for better jobs and better wages for workers and reaching out to more rank-and-file workers.
This was a commitment made at the inaugural U Associate (UA) Convention on 28 January.
The UA Programme is a key strategic effort of the Labour Movement to engage and support professional associations and PMEs (Professional, Managers and Executives).
To further help these associations to kick-start their journey with the Labour Movement, a $3 million U Associate Grant was launched as a kick-starter fund customised for the UA partners. The launch took place at the start of the two-day leadership convention.
The grant will go towards developing the capabilities of both the association and members. To be disbursed over a period of three years, the grant will support associations in initiatives to strengthen their membership base, and contribute towards professional development, employment upgrading and employability enhancement.
At the convention, NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say said: “We will see more and more PMEs in our workforce, and more and more PMEs facing the challenges of employment and employability.”
He added that while the tripartite framework is effective, it is incomplete in looking after the interests of PMEs.
This effort is targeted to ensure the NTUC remains relevant in the evolving workforce in Singapore. The proportion of PMEs is expected to increase rapidly, with over 285,000 PME union members currently.
With the upcoming changes to legislation like the Industrial Relations Act, the Labour Movement and its tripartite partners will continue to roll out more initiatives to serve the needs of the PME workforce.