18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
The Union Leader Who “Walks” the Talk

There’s a misconception that youths nowadays don’t prefer administrative work, but how true is this? This month, we interviewed Kris Chen, a Business Support in the Media Solution Division of Singapore Press Holdings who has been in this for 9 years.

Being in a hectic industry, Kris enjoys going for walks to take her mind off work and also as a way to stay active. What’s interesting is, even with circuit breaker implemented now, Kris is keeping up with her walks around at home so as to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Editor: As Kris continues to keep up with her walking lifestyle even at home, we decided to challenge her to a 10,000 steps challenge for a week. Well, let’s just say that the challenge was no kick for her... You can find her step tracker screenshot at the end of this interview and probably motivate yourself to attempt too!

 

 

1. In two sentences, let us know what you do in the media solutions division of SPH.


My daily job entails ensuring operations efficiency with ongoing and upcoming supplement projects and to validate supplements projects revenue managements and sales scores. Days are also often filled with back-to-back meetings to ensure internal coordination with clients and agency to provide support to the sales team.

2. Would you encourage fellow youths to join your industry?


If the person is up for a good challenge and is ready to learn, the person is welcome to join this industry. Some of the traits the person should have include good stress handling skills, project management skills, and great administrative skill to deal with vast amount of paperwork.

3. What is an interesting fact about your role or company that others might not know about?


On average, almost everyone in SPH has been with the organisation for more than 15 years!
Receiving 20 years’ service appreciation award is actually a norm in SPH!

4. Given the demands of this industry, why did you volunteer as a union leader?


I have joined the Creative Media and Publishing Union for 7 years. The reason why I stepped forward? I have seen how senior leaders have helped fellow workers, and I hope that I can be a voice for workers and give assistance whenever needed. There are not many youths in this industry, and I have heard of many youths who do not believe in unions. So I thought, why not start by being an example? And that’s how I volunteered myself and have never looked back since.

5. How did you get involved at Young NTUC?


 

In fact, I came to know more about Young NTUC through volunteering at Project Refresh with my fellow CMPU folks. Project Refresh is organised by Young NTUC and North East Community Development Council with the aim to help improve the living environment of less privileged seniors and families through a series of refurbishment works such as cleaning, painting, and decluttering. My role in the Project Refresh was as a volunteer leader and I was given the chance to contribute more by joining Young NTUC in the behind-the-scenes work, handling logistics planning, manpower deployment and doing the very first house visits to residents to understand the type of help needed. It was an eye-opening experience! It really taught me to count my blessings and made me realised how fortunate I am. This motivates me to want to volunteer in more sessions!

I officially joined Young NTUC in 2018 as a nominated representative from CMPU. Being on the Young NTUC committee was a privileged one, I was able to connect with fellow young Union Leaders. We exchanged pointers, shared different case scenarios that happened at our workplaces, understood policies better to help fellow young workers. We also went through courses to develop our leadership skills and was given the opportunity to chat with seniors and veterans from different unions. I was able to see things from different perspectives and connected with like-minded youths. In fact, through my conversation with them, some have given me really good advice that has helped me relief stress I faced at work.

5. How being a Young NTUC union leader has impacted you and the way you help others?


I now know our employment rights better, as well as understand the background of why certain policies were made. This allows me to extend help to fellow workers who encounter issues at their workplaces.

I have also learnt to be more patient and I must say that I have become a better listener!

6. What have you been busy with during this circuit-breaker period?


Other than working out, singing online karaoke with my friends and spending quality time with my family, I have also been joining Young NTUC in their care packs packing sessions! I am also going down regularly to the Migrant Workers Recreation Centre to help with the packing of sanitizers that will be distributed to the various dormitories.

7. Please complete this sentence “To me, Young NTUC is...” 



 

To me, Young NTUC is like a pair of hands who is always there to extend help to those in need. I am truly blessed to be a part of Young NTUC.

Kris sends her regards to all fellow youths to stay safe during this COVID-19 period.

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Here’s Kris’ step tracker screenshot!