In SPP’s Labour Day Message, Mr Chiam See Tong calls for greater salary growth, increased bargaining power and more investment in human resources. The statement can be read in full below.
My fellow Singaporeans,
Labour Day is a celebration of the working classes. We should not only recognize the contributions of workers – pledges must be made to better protect and promote their welfare and rights.
While the Government keeps assuring Singaporean workers that their real median incomes were growing, many workers feel that while price of their daily necessities keeps getting more expensive, their wages are not keeping up. The Hays Asia Salary Guide released in January 2015 indeed confirms that the salary growth in Singapore is failing to keep pace with the tight labour market.
There is a general perception that the NTUC, which is led by a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, is just another arm of the Government. They call this arrangement ‘Tripartism’. But in the face of strong corporate lobbying and Government pressures, the interests of the workers will always remain subservient to these.
Last year Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMET) accounted for 51% of layoffs. A large amount of unemployed and underemployed PMET have to unfairly compete for jobs in industries such as security, hospitality and healthcare sectors. As the Tripartite Alliance on Fair Employment Practices’ (TAFEP) guidelines seem inadequate to better protect our older workers, there is a need to legislate policies to better safeguard the interests of such workers.
Recent initiatives of our Government like SkillsFuture too, though well-intentioned, only gives our workers who tap on them skills and competencies that are needed for the jobs and industries that we have at hand today. Many jobs and industries that were labour-intensive and relevant in the past are no longer here today. What skills and competencies will the jobs of the future require from its workers? As we may have no idea what these may be, it may be better to develop the talents of our workers and have policies to support such talent acquisition.
From sluggish salary growths, to lack of bargaining-power, to insufficient investment in human resources, the challenges of the Singaporean workers are many. This Labour Day, we pledge to stand with the workers of Singapore and be their voice to advocate for better outcomes in these areas.
Happy Labour Day!
Chiam See Tong
Secretary-General, Singapore People’s Party (SPP)
虽然政府一直试图让新加坡职工相信，他们实际收入的中位数处于增长中，但很多工人仍觉得日常必需品的整体价格都在上升，他们的工资水平并没有跟上。2015年1月份发布的瀚纳仕亚洲薪酬指南（Hays Asia Salary Guide）也证实了这一点，新加坡工资增长的水平未能跟上劳工市场紧张的步伐。
政府近期的一些举措如 SkillsFuture 也是如此，虽然有着好的动机，但只能给参加的工人他们目前就职的工作和行业所需要的技能和竞争力。过去那种劳动密集型以及相关的很多工作和行业今天已不复存在。未来的工作需要它的职工们拥有什么样的技能和竞争力？我们对于答案一无所知，所以在我们工人中培养人才以及建立扶持这种人才培养的政策或许才是更好的选择。