18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Ready To Leave An Impression

Bubbly and cheerful, Eveline Lee injects a breath of fresh air into union work. Besides working as internal auditor at SMMWU (The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union), Eveline also plays an active role in the Young SMMWU Youth Chapter – Gen Vibez.

The 28-year-old is unfazed by her many commitments, focused as she is on enthusing her peers about how they can do their bit for their fellows while widening their social circle.

Joining the flow
“I joined SMMWU five years ago when a senior member was recruiting new blood. Back then, I was attracted by the fun factors. However over the years, I have learnt more about labour work through the courses provided by SMMWU and Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCI) – especially through case studies. I am driven to keep on learning as there is still so much to knowledge to acquire.

Thinking like the young
“It is hard to appeal to the younger generation as their mindset is very different, and they are quick to move on to another job if they find it difficult to settle into the company they are in. Being better educated and vocal, they also think they can face the management on their own without help from the union.

Sourcing for new blood is hard but retaining new blood is even harder. We are still looking into ways to effectively attract them to serve the union and stay on as committee members.”

A reflection of myself
“Being part of SMMWU, I help out at the Annual Bursary and Scholarship Awards. What warms my heart is seeing the big smiles of children from low-waged families as they receive their well-deserved awards for working hard at school. It reminds me of my young self walking up to the stage to receive my bursary award.”

Growing with Young NTUC…
“Being a Young NTUC committee member has provided me with various opportunities to enhance my learning journey in the Labour Movement, be it interacting with peers from different unions or meeting ministers at dialogue sessions to exchange views on current affairs.

While the committee team meets once a month, Young NTUC organises regular bonding sessions. This has helped to build friendships amongst us.”

Working towards…
“Through union work, I hope to reach out to more members – especially the lower waged workers – to minimise the grievances in the work environment and increase the number of activities for members to network and relieve work stress.  Concurrently with more training from OTCI, I am raring to to put the knowledge to good use to help our members.”