Delegates from 65 NTUC-affiliated unions and associations gathered at the Orchid Country Club on 22 November 2023 for the NTUC National Delegates’ Conference (NDC).
The NDC is a quadrennial event where the Labour Movement gathers to recap its achievements over the last four years and set its goals and objectives for the next four.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong graced the event as the guest of honour and addressed the delegates, giving his account of why unions, though still relevant, needs to reinvent itself.
Taking the stage after Mr Lee, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng gave a report on the efforts and results of the Labour Movement over the last four years.
NTUC President Mary Liew, whose opening address kickstarted the conference, announced that she will not stand for election for the next term.
She was elected as president of the NTUC Central Committee in 2015, and has since played several pivotal roles representing the Labour Movement. She currently sits on the board of the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC), the National Wages Council (NWC) and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) – to name a few.
The conference is also a platform where NTUC elects its new central committee. On 23 November 2023, a new 21-member central committee was elected, which saw 16 members from the previous term being re-elected.
Following the election, the new committee appointed Mr Heng Chee Hong as NTUC Deputy Secretary-General, bringing the total number of members in the central committee to 22.
On the first central committee meeting on 29 November 2023, Mr Patrick Tay was appointed as NTUC Assistant Secretary-General.
NTUC has held delegates conferences since 1962.
It started as an annual conference, before eventually evolving into the quadrennial event that it is today.
As a symbol of the strong symbiotic relationship between the People’s Action Party and NTUC, the conference has historically been launched by the Prime Minister, or minimally a Cabinet Minister from the ruling party.
This year was likely Mr Lee's final keynote address at the NDC. He has previously announced that he would be handing over the leadership reins to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong by November 2024.