Tripartism, Singapore's formula to success
PUBLISHED ON 01 May 2018
The Government and the Labour Movement will support Singapore workers, and strengthen the economy as industries continue to restructure and transform said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s May Day Rally. 
Amidst the many technological distruptions playing out, the Government is doing all it can to help businesses and workers adapt to these changes.

Mr Lee emphasised: "The changes are positive. We have to embrace them; we cannot try to stop the changes."

He assured that the Government will not only support the workers, but will also support companies to upgrade to enable the econony to renew itself and stay competitive.

Mr Lee also paid tribute to our unique tripartite relationship, which has been integral to Singapore’s success over the years. He noted that even as the Labour Movement continues to be progressive and forward-looking, tripartite relationship in Singapore is important. "Tripartism is fundamental to Singapore's survival and success. If we have a secret ingredient, it is that, tripartism," he reiterated.

PM Lee added, "Without the Labour Movement partnering companies; without NTUC partnering the PAP in a symbiotic relationship; without the Government, unions and businesses sharing responsibility for Singapore's future, we would not have made it here. We built this together." 

PM Lee also said, "As we renew Singapore, we must hold fast to the values that have made Singapore successful... it is how we will show others - and ourselves too - that Singapore has what it takes to endure and succeed."

At the Rally, attended by over 1,600 union leaders, tripartite partners and activists from the People's Action Party, Mr Lee also took the opportunity to talk about the leadership transition. 

"The fourth generation leadership is learning on the job, taking on more responsibilities and preparing for succession," he added.

PM Lee had earlier last week announced several changes to the cabinet, with Minister Chan Chun Sing stepping down as Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and taking over as Minister for Trade and Industry. Minister Ng Chee Meng and Senior Minister of State Dr Koh Poh Koon will become Deputy Secretaries General of the NTUC. These changes will take place today, 1 May 2018.

Meanwhile in his address, NTUC Secretary-General Mr Chan Chun Sing shared how the Labour Movement is doing to better represent workers and their interests.

He announced that Labour Movement has raised $50 million through sponsorships and received $150 million in matching funds from the Government, achieving the targeted $200 million for the NTUC-Education and Training Fund (NETF). The fund helps to subsidise training for union members and will be used to create new training modules for union members.

He reiterated the urgency of training and upgrading workers' skills amidst rapid technological change.

Mr Chan also noted: “In the past many conventional labour movements were focused perhaps on only two or three things - making sure that there are privileges for their members, making sure that there are protections for their members, and perhaps if the member is displaced, to do some placement, to help the member get a new job.”

He added: “These three Ps - privileges, protections and placements - are important and still must be done. But we need to add to our skillset a fourth P - progression. Helping our workers ahead of time to make sure they stay relevant, because we firmly believe that the best protection, the best welfare for workers, is a good job.”