Photo of Chan Chun Sing from Straits Times

NTUC chief and Minister of State Chan Chun Sing announced yesterday (Apr 25) that the government work union will start selling ad hoc membership for non-members to attend training courses. Most Singapore employees, at only 880,000 out of the 2.3 million employees in Singapore, are unionized and one would have to pay S$117 a year to be a NTUC member.

The NTUC membership is not popular as the government union never once advocate higher salaries or offer employment protection or assistance beyond the legal minimum. Most NTUC members joined the union only to enjoy discounts at NTUC supermarkets and associated partner shops.

Minister of State Chan Chun Sing however posted on his blog waxing lyrical about the near-nonexistent employment support given by NTUC:

“We are not fixated on one limb. NTUC’s various limbs allow it to serve more workers, going beyond the traditional model of workers joining unions for protection and collective bargaining. The only way we can truly live up to being a strong and relevant labour movement is if we can adequately represent the majority of the workforce. This is something we have been and will continue to do. NTUC and its social enterprises were expanding their activities to stay relevant to workers, by helping people adapt to change and stretch their dollar. What we want is for our working people to develop a relationship with the labour movement, from before they begin work, whilst they’re working, when they are transitioning between careers, and all the way until they retire.”

You may read Chan Chun Sing’s article here.