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Labour Movement Outlines 2011 Key Goals


Headline: Labour Movement outlines 2011 key goals
While celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the National trades Union Congress (NTUC) has rewed up its engine to make the Labour Movement (LM) an even more inclusive one for workers of all collars, ages and nationalitites to work, live and play together in Singapore. Here's a look at the plans, unveiled at the Labour Movement (LM) Workplan Seminar in January 2011.
Having a job is better than no job at all
NTUC's e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) plans to enhance workers' employment and employability skills in 2011 by sustaining its pace of job assistance and placement.
FAST FACT FILE: In 2010, NTUC's e2i assisted 40,000 workers in employment and employability enhancement through placement, professional development and productivity improvements, out of which, 14,000 were placed in new jobs, including 5,300 (40%) who were age 50 and above.
This year, e2i will sustain its pace of job assistance and placement with a stronger focus on quality older workers and PMETs. e2i will continue to work with the tripartite partners to assist 50,000 worker through various initiatives.
NTUC's Raising Effective Retirement Age (RERA) team will get more unionised companies to adopt the Tripartite Guidelines of Re-employment of Older Wokers and form a community of employers within the unionised sector.
FAST FACT FILE: Since 2006 till end 2010, NTUC's RERA team has committed a total of 1,055 companies (91% of unionised companies) to re-employ their older workers. Of these, 547 companies have adopted the Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Workers. RERA's efforts since 2006 have benefitted a total of 10,536 older workers who were offered re-employment.
In 2011, RERA aims to achieve a target of helping 12,000 (cumulative) older workers get re-employed and 100% (cumulative) of unionised companies to adopt the Tripartite Guidelines. It will seek to create mindset shifts in line managers, in addition to HR managers, towards supporting the re-employment efforts.
For foreign workers, the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) will focus on maximising the economic contributions and minimising the social cost associated with foreign workers, enable fair treatment for them, and strengthen their social integration with the local workforce.
FAST FACT FILE: MWC assisted and reached out to 56,000 foreign workers through its various programmes and activities in 2010.
NTUC Women's Development Secretariat's (WDS) will strengthen its 3R - Recruit, Re-adjust and Retain - strategy with a structured Mentorship Programme to enhance the employment rate of women who want to return to work.
FAST FACT FILE: Launched in late 2007, NTUC WDS' Back2Work with U (B2W) Programme has since placed 8,000 women, including 3,000 in 2010, in jobs. WDS' efforts have surely contributed to the significant increase in the female employment rate (25 to 54 years) of 71.1% in 2010, up from 69.4% in 2009 as seen in the Ministry of Manpower's Workforce 2010 report.
Achieving Sustainable Growth - Enjoy better jobs, better pay
To tackle the widening income gap here, the LM will continue to fire its twin engines through the complementary strategies of Cheaper Better Faster (CBF) and Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP). CBF focuses on achieving sustainable growth to strengthen the economy through raising productivity across all sectors and levels of workers, while IGP focuses on achieving inclusive growth to strengthen the society through giving low-wage workers better skills, better jobs and better pay.
FAST FACT FILE: In 2010 alone, 108 companies across the manufacturing, services and public sectors have embarked on CBF projects, both big and small. As a result, 10,200 workers have benefitted from these CBF projects, with many enjoying productivity-related gains or bonuses in a sustainable manner.
Since its launch in August 2010, NTUC's IGP has already seen 166 approved projects with over $12 million of funds committed and over 15,000 low wage workers set to benefit.
The LM aims to double the number of low wage workers (30,000) it would help in 2011 and will also expand its IGP to more sectors like manufacturing, food and beverage, hospitality, construction and agriculture.
In 2010, with support from IGP, some 75 Best Sourcing Initiative (BSI) contracts worth more than $150 million were awarded by e2i, which benefitted 1,500 low wage workers as companies move away from cheap sourcing.
NTUC's Union for Contract and Casual Workers (UCCW), will widen its scope and reach out to more sectors and more contract and casual workers, so they can enjoy better pay and in turn, receive Central Provident Fund and enjoy the Workfare Income Supplement scheme and get on the Workfare Training Scheme.
FAST FACT FILE: In 2010, NTUC's UCCW reached out to and helped 17,000 workers and assisted 700 to be on the Workfare Training Scheme (WTS).
For 2011, UCCW will widen its scope and reach out to more sectors and workers, especially in the logistics, food and beverage, and landscape sectors. It aims to get 18,000 contract and casual workers to upgrade so that they can enjoy better pay and in turn, receive Central Provident Fund and enjoy the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme. It will also help another 2,000 workers get on the Workfare Training Scheme.
And in the face of fierce global competition, the LM will also help Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETS) here remain relevant, capable and adaptable.
FAST FACT FILE: In 2011, the LM will help PMETs be more capable by deepening their expertise and be more adaptable by skills upgrading. e2i aims to double the number of PMETs served to 8,000. NTUC LearningHub's Next U will increase its trainng places by 50% to 12,000 and continue rolling out more exciting world-class partnerships that offer work-class programmes.
All CAN to 3-GEN Membership - Spreading the benefits of Union Membership
For the LM to remain progressive, responsive and relevant as a strong and effective tripartite partner, it would need to continue to have a strong membership base with a 3-GEN approach: strengthen existing communities such as nEBO, U Family and U Live through lifelong membership engagement, and grow new communities through dual membership schemes and establishing profssional chapters/communities int he unions.