1) His heart has always been with the low-wage workers
Ever since he joined the Labour movement, his heart has always been with the low-wage workers. After a 4-year stint with the Environment Ministry, he understood the plight of low-wage workers such as cleaners who are employed by outsourced service providers. Thus when he returned to the Labour movement, he championed the cause for low-wage workers and pushed for companies to adopt the Progressive Wage Model to improve the lives of the workers.
2) He made Progressive Wage Model (PWM) happen
The Progressive Wage model (PWM) is a four-in-one model of skills upgrading, productivity improvement, career advancement and wage progression which was introduced by Minister Lim in 2012. The model has been implemented for the cleaning and security sector so far, and will be introduced for the landscaping sector soon. The model is not just confined for implementation in low-wage sectors but for PMEs (Professionals, Managers and Executives) as well.
3) He saw the need to protect the rights of Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs)
Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) are increasing in the workforce. In 20 years, PMEs are expected to comprise 2 in 3 workers. Hence, under Minister Lim’s leadership the labour movement repositioned itself some eight years ago to be a labour movement for workers of all collars.
4) Neither did he forget the mature workers! He implemented Re-employment
The Re-employment legislation came into effect in 2012 and was first introduced by Minister Lim after a working trip to Japan with some tripartite partners. The legislation now sees employers required to offer re-employment to all employees who reach the retirement age of 62 years, provided the employees is: medically fit for work and has satisfactory performance.
5) And the young too! (nEbO)
Minister Lim launched the Labour movement’s junior membership arm, nEbO, in July 2007. The lifestyle club actively reaches out to youths 12-25 to create a vibrant community that is Work-Ready, World-Ready and Life-Ready.
6) He’s so All-inclusive that he led the union membership to hit a new high
Minister Lim knew that the only way a union would be effective was to have strength in numbers. When he returned to the labour movement in 2005 and took over in 2007, he repositioned the labour movement and pushed for membership growth, which today stands at more than 850,000.
Every change of leadership is a chance to dream of something new and an opportunity to be grateful. This time, the workers of Singapore, you and I can be grateful for some of the things which Minister Lim has helped to achieve for the labour movement of Singapore.
7) He saw the importance of Skills
Minister Lim saw that the only way our workers can remain employable moving forward, was to push workers to deepen their skills, re-skill and second skill in order to for them to keep their jobs in this tight labour market. Yes, this was wayyyy before everyone started talking about SkillsFuture.
So there you have it, the seven things that Minister Lim Swee Say has done when he’s with the Labour Movement.