2015 comes to a close soon. And what a year it has been for the labour movement. The NTUC’s National Delegates’ Conference in late October saw a fresh mandate given to the new Central Committee led by NTUC secretary general Chan Chun Sing who had recently joined the labour movement in April 2015.
While it does more to outreach to the Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in the workforce, the NTUC has not forgotten the low-wage workers which it has been helping.
The NTUC’s vision is to be an inclusive and caring labour movement helping its working people to have better jobs so that they can lead better lives. This, it does through a multi-pronged approach to pay particular attention to uplift the lives of low-income union members and their families through the NTUC-U Care Fund as well as low-wage workers in Singapore through the NTUC U Care Centre.
$9.1 million disbursed through Fund
Yesterday (29 Nov 2015), at the NTUC Family Fair – Back to School event, the labour movement announced that a total of $9.1 million had been disbursed under the NTUC-U Care Fund to help support low-income union members and their families.
Employment rights and skills upgrading opportunities
Apart from helping them cope with their daily needs, this year, the NTUC U Care Centre (UCC) also assisted 7,000 low-wage workers in the area of work, to ensure they are aware of their employment rights and of opportunities to help them upgrade their skills.
According to the NTUC, the workplace issues vary from assistance on calculation of leave, overtime payment to CPF entitlements.
Through its collaborations with institutes of higher learning, the UCC also started to reach out to part-time working students and adults to educate them on their employment rights.
Also, to reach out to the low-wage workers in the Malay-Muslim community, the UCC started a new initiative through a collaboration with the Enhanced Mosque Clusters and Mendaki SENSE. It has to date reach out to about 11,000 low-wage workers.
Workers with non-employment related issues are assisted at the pro-bono legal clinics launched by the UCC.
Obviously, these are done not just to help low-wage workers get by with their daily needs, but also to help improve their jobs and lives. If this is not all-round help, then I don’t know what is.