18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Beginning In The Union


“When I had first started to participate in some events Young NTUC organised such as RUN 350, I was unaware of what Young NTUC was, I had thought that NTUC referred to a supermarket and nothing more. However, after coming in contact with Young NTUC through the events, I came to know much more about the union and how it works,” Yong Jun shares as he recounted the first few occasions he came to know of Young NTUC.

For Yong Jun, his journey as a unionist began with some hesitation and apprehension.

“Initially I was quite apprehensive about joining the Chemical Industries Employees’ Union (CIEU) because I was afraid of not being able to commit to the activities that follow. However, after speaking with my Branch Chairman, I was inspired by the work that he does as a union leader. Although he shared the same apprehension as I did at the beginning, he never once regretted his decision after having served the union for years. That got me thinking.”

A leap of faith since then for Yong Jun has left him pleasantly surprised. Not only is he starting to understand what serving others meant, he also made several close friends on this journey.  Each time a member appreciates the help he renders, or when he concludes a successful negotiation, Yong Jun finds satisfaction and motivation in his union work that keeps him going.

“It is when they say ‘thank you for helping me’ with a big happy smile that I feel the work is worth it, it also helps the member trust in the work that the union is doing in helping them.”

After experiencing union work, Yong Jun was undaunted when he was asked to join the Young NTUC committee. Leveraging on his interest in photography, Yong Jun has helped to take pictures of events held by Young NTUC. Despite it being physically demanding, he enjoys the process of capturing the moments of laughter and fun.  

The youth committee of CIEU in which Yong Jun also sits on will continue to brainstorm for new ideas or events that will interest youths as well as providing a platform for them to showcase leadership qualities.

Yong Jun shares that there would be an upcoming youth event involving an interesting sport and another event to engage other youth activists at the end of the year.

In Yong Jun’s words, a successful event is not one that solely has a high turn out rate. It should be an event which meets its objectives in providing participants with invaluable take-away about the work that Young CIEU does and also encourage the participants to eventually become contributors as well.