Grab is the first platform operator to commit to enhancing representation and training.
Delivery riders and private hire drivers working with Grab can now look forward to better job welfare and work prospects.
Grab Singapore and NTUC-affiliated National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) and National Delivery Champions Association (NDCA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 7 August 2023 to improve Grab platform workers’ livelihoods.
Grab is the first platform operator in Singapore to partner with NTUC-affiliated associations, following the Tripartite Workgroup (TWG) on Representation for Platform Workers recommendations to enhance platform workers’ representation on 12 July 2023.
NTUC and Grab are members of the workgroup whose recommendations for a new representation framework were accepted by the Government on the same day.
The MOU signing ceremony occurred at a National Day event at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. Grab-driver and delivery partners, Grab management representatives, and NTUC and association leaders attended the event.
NPHVA Executive Secretary Raven Lee, NDCA Executive Secretary Jean See and Grab Singapore Managing Director Yee Wee Tang signed the MOU. NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, Grab Chief Operating Officer Alex Hungate, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Dr Koh Poh Koon, NDCA President Goh Yong Wei and NPHVA General Secretary Joseph Goh witnessed the signing.
Uplifting Grab platform workers
Under the MOU, Grab, NPHVA and NDCA commit to working together to enhance the representation of Grab-driver and delivery partners who have taken at least one booking on the platform in the past three months.
Grab will work towards giving the associations direct recognition as the representative body of its platform workers under the new legislation expected to come into effect by the end of 2024.
Grab and the associations will also provide training programmes to develop platform workers’ skills further and raise their productivity for improved earning opportunities. There will also be structured dialogues to improve their understanding of platform work.
“Platform workers are critical enablers of our economy. This MOU is a reflection of Grab and the associations’ shared commitment to secure the future of platform work. It complements Grab's ongoing efforts to improve the livelihoods of our driver and delivery partners.
“We appreciate the Government for their continued collaboration, their openness to take onboard industry viewpoints, and the opportunity to be part of the Tripartite Workgroup to shape a feasible model for platform work in Singapore,” said Mr Yee in a joint statement to the media.
The Labour Movement’s response
The Labour Movement welcomed the MOU, noting that it signifies the parties’ joint commitment towards representation and fair work in the platform economy.
“NTUC and our associations have been engaging our platform workers to understand their needs and concerns.
“[They have also] been working closely with platform operators as well as Government agencies to work out mutually beneficial arrangements in areas such as work conditions, working terms and conditions, income, and savings, as well as protection against injury or medical conditions.
“The signing of the MOU with Grab today marks a significant step forward towards cementing a positive working relationship between our associations and Grab to achieve win-win outcomes for both platform workers and Grab,” said Mr Ng in the statement.
NDCA President Goh Yong Wei and NPHVA GS Joseph Goh also hope other platform operators will work with NTUC to ensure a fair, sustainable, and equitable work environment for all platform workers in Singapore.
In his speech at the event, Mr Ng recounted NTUC and Grab’s joint efforts in championing platform workers’ rights since the platform operator’s inception 11 years ago.
These included Grab working closely with NTUC to help affected riders deal with policy changes when Personal Mobility Devices were banned in 2019. More recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Grab partnered with NTUC to push forward the various assistance programmes available to help affected platform workers.
Mr Ng also committed to continue working with platform operators and tripartite partners to advance the platform economy.
He elaborated: “Let us do our utmost to enhance the business possibilities for platforms like Grab. But also in the same breath, make sure that the three W’s of wages, welfare and work prospects are also anchored.
“…We will deliver what NTUC promises to do for the workers, and we will lean forward to support company outcomes as well ... And when the collective of businesses succeed, there will be a strong, robust, and resilient economy."
NTUC U FSE is the voice for platform workers.
Head to https://ufse.org.sg/Pages/platformworkers.aspx to improve the wages, welfare, and work prospects for freelancers.