In the wake of COVID-19 circuit breaker measures, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be delivering his May Day Message on national television on Thursday (30 April) at 7.30pm, while the annual May Day Rally celebrations organised by National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) will be replaced by closed-door online dialogue session this year.
NTUC said it has been reviewing its May Day celebrations events that were originally scheduled to take place from late April till June since the beginning of pandemic outbreak.
“In line with tightened COVID-19 circuit breaker measures, NTUC will be doing things differently across our key May Day events,” it said in its statement.
Given that PM Lee’s May Day Message is usually being delivered to media outlets in written form with no video, it is believed that his message will be televised for the first time, as reported in TODAY.
According to NTUC, the audience can tune into several social media channels such as the Prime Minister’s Office’s and NTUC Singapore’s Facebook pages as well as YouTube channels to watch PM Lee’s message.
As same as every year, the May Day Rally will gather more than 1,500 Labour Movement leaders and tripartite partners to show the solidarity among tripartite partners.
This year, a closed-door online dialogue session, hosted by NTUC President Mary Liew, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) President Robert Yap will be held after PM Lee delivers his message.
NTUC said around 500 participants are expected to join this tripartite dialogue session, including union leaders, U Associates, U SME partners, NTUC Communities, employers, and government leaders.
The dialogue session will kick-start with a short, pre-recorded video greeting by PM Lee to tripartite representatives at the session.
Not only that, NTUC has also decided to make changes to the respective traditional May Day Events such as May Day Awards, May Day Migrant Workers Celebration, May Day Domestic Employees Celebration and May Day Fiesta.
The May Day Fiesta, a celebratory recreational activity as well as the May Day Awards — which is a ceremony to honour individuals, companies and tripartite partners who have made significant contributions for workers — will be cancelled.
NTUC said it will inform the alternative arrangements to honour this year’s awardees at a later date.
As the May Day Domestic Employees Celebration has been moved to online platforms, NTUC noted, “It is also exploring to hold the May Day Migrant Workers Celebrations online.”
NTUC Assistant Director-General Vivek Kumar said “These are unusual times that call for an extraordinary display of spirit and gumption, whether from our union leaders and workers, to our tripartite partners, and even the May Day 2020 organising committee.”
“While we will be celebrating May Day 2020 differently this year, I am heartened that the spirit of wanting to come together to serve our workers, and to show our solidarity as tripartite partners remains very strong. We stand in solidarity with our workers in these difficult times,” added Mr Kumar, also the organising chairperson of May Day 2020.