Think Centre reminds the government of its moral obligation and political duty to do more to create jobs, reduce unemployment and reduce retrenchment for Singaporeans. Ensure that all workers have decent work and wages!!
Help Workers Move Ahead Together
On this election fever-gripped May Day 2006, Think Centre (TC) reiterates its call to the newly returned-to-power PAP government to look beyond glossy figures and pure statistics. Despite the government's announcement that retrenchment in 2005 fell to a 12-year low, Think Centre reminds the government of its moral obligation and political duty to do more to create jobs, reduce unemployment and reduce retrenchment for Singaporeans.
The blue-collar working class needs urgent attention as the production related, manufacturing and electronics sectors continued to layoff middle-aged workers. Compared to the middle class white-collar new pooor, the blue-collar working poor should receive priority for State assistance in job re-training, job counselling, job matching and Workfare handouts.
For the white-collar middle class new poor, it is insufficient for the government to provide skills upgrading without enforcing mindsets change in employers. More employers need to be educated on the value-add of older talents and incentivised to retain or re-hire such talents, in the current rigid, bottomline-driven and performance-based job market.
This May Day, Think Centre makes the following recommendations to the government, employers and trade unions, on behalf of all workers:
1. Stop all forms of discrimination towards all workers especially, aged, lower educated workers, women workers, disabled workers and migrant workers
2. Adopt policies to secure decent working conditions and ensure salaries are paid to, and decent living conditions for, migrant workers
3. Update deficient labour legislation by removing or amending outdated policies such as:
3.1. Stronger labour law to protect against discrimination of older workers, gender, race and religion, physical disabilities and foreign domestic workers;
3.2. Greater support for retrenched and unemployed workers through a national insurance scheme, as well as to provide a reasonable living with access to housing, healthcare, re-training and other essentials for a decent living.
3.3 Amend the 1973-policy which requires prior permission for work permit holders to marry locals. Instead those with relevant skills and who have worked in Singapore for 4 years should be free to marry locals.
This watershed-election year,Think Centre sincerely hereby wishes all workers a happy May Day. The future is up to this new government to make, it must help everyone of us move forward together as an open, caring and inclusivist society.
Sources and Relevant Links:
Think Centre 1st of May: Remember the 8-hour Work-day Struggle 26 April 2002
Think Centre CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: MAY FIRST MESSAGE May 2003
Think Centre LABOUR DAY MESSAGE: CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' DAY 2004 30 April 2004
Think Centre LABOUR DAY MESSAGE 2005 29 April 2005
CNA Retrenchments in Singapore fall to 12-year low in 2005 24 April 2006
Today Having kids can cost some mothers their jobs 19 April 2005
Think Centre An Honest Day's Pay for an Honest Day's Work? 31 January 2006