Up Close & Personal
What it means to be a worker for workers?

Workers’ contribution forms the backbone of our economy. Regardless of the role that we play in the society, the profession that we take on – whether as a full-timer, a part-timer, a trainee, or even an intern, every work that we do, matter, and count towards the nation-building efforts.

The slogan of #everyworkermatters is the main driving force behind the work that NTUC does for the workers. Since our founding year in 1961, our Labour Movement has remained committed in its mission to help workers earn a better living and live a better life. This year’s May Day was made even more special as NTUC celebrates its 60th anniversary with the theme, “Members First, Workers Always”

So what does it mean be a worker for workers? Here’s the take from the “youngest” (in terms of tenure) colleagues in Young NTUC.


Nur Hazlin, Senior Executive, Programmes & Communications Team

As the world changes, people change with it and this is a fact of life. We must adapt to it constantly to stay relevant and attractive. What I’ve found in my scope of work is that the youths of today are constantly evolving with time. To stay relevant and keep up with trends, we must constantly innovate ourselves and prepare for the changes. This requires us to inspire and nurture a mindset for continuous learning in ourselves and the people we lead.

With COVID-19 dragging on, we know these have left many fresh graduates to have a rocky start in their job search. More retrenchments are also expected in the months to come for those badly hit sectors. To better represent the voice of all young workers, Young NTUC continues to bring in new partnerships, while strengthening existing ones to pull together resources including job opportunities and developing suitable career programmes that are in demand and relevant for youths. This year, the team had also launched TikTok and Clubhouse as new ways of reaching out to the younger generation.

Personally, I find the work that we do is rewarding and gratifying because through our programmes and initiatives we are helping young workers to find their footing in the workplace, and this is the first step in supporting them to gain better work prospects.  


Maximus Tan, Senior Executive, Membership Team  

Over time, I have learnt that the empathetic ethos is crucial as a worker for workers, and this empathy is developed through our personal connection with our members. It is especially rewarding to be able to add value to our young members through our career-related programmes and the privileges we can provide.

When people ask me why membership is crucial to the success of NTUC, I tend to explain using the analogy of wooden chopstick versus a bunch of chopsticks. Alone, the chopstick will break easily. Together, the strength in numbers make it hard to bend or break even with immeasurable pressure or force.

Given today’s unpredictable market conditions, I strongly believe that it is important for all workers to be better represented and protected. By joining a union, we can do so much more for you.

 
Tyler Lim, Principal Executive, Leadership Team

Union leaders play a significant role in the betterment of our workers’ livelihoods by ensuring their employment and employability.  For instance, when workers face retrenchment, unions ensure that it is the last resort and workers get fair compensation. If matters do not get resolved at the company level, there is proper escalation process to handle workplace disputes.

At Young NTUC we strive to provide these leaders with sufficient opportunities including training, resources, and exposure so that they are better equipped with the right skills set and knowledge to handle all types of situations on the grounds while addressing to the immediate needs and concerns of the workers.

By being part of the Young NTUC committee it allows them to gain broader perspectives, to be equipped with experiences gleamed from other sectors and applying it for the betterment of the industry and the workers they serve.



 

To be a worker for workers, one has to have a conviction and innate need to want to serve others. If we want to effect a change in others, we, too, need to be ready to change ourselves. To better address the needs of our workers, one also must put themselves in the shoes of the workers that they are serving. Thereby with empathy, a heart and the willingness to embrace and champion changes is what it takes to be a "worker for workers."

Wishing one and all a Happy May Day! Hope this public holiday has been fruitful for you and your loved ones. Thank you for all your contributions and the sacrifices that you have made to building the nation!

#everyworkermatters #membersfirstworkersalways #mayday2021


To find out more about Young NTUC and the career programmes and resources that it offers, visit www.lit.sg and www.youngntuc.org.sg for more information. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to get the latest updates on hand!

If you are a trainee under the SGUnited Traineeship Programme or a recent graduate who is exploring a traineeship, follow us on our LIT XChange Facebook Group to gain easy access to curated resources, events and more!