Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) in Singapore today celebrated May Day. About 1,000 MDWs attended the NTUC May Day Domestic Employees Celebration held at NTUC’s e2i West, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. The event was organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) to recognise the contributions of MDWs in Singapore. This is the first physical iteration of the event since the lifting of COVID-19 Safe Management Measures (SMM) this year. The celebration was also live streamed on CDE’s Facebook page with an online audience of about 2,000 viewers. The event was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Minister of State for Manpower and Education, Ms Gan Siow Huang who took part in the celebrations and interacted with MDWs.
The fun-filled event featured a TikTok performing arts competition that commenced in March 2023 and concluded with the physical celebration on 18 June. MDWs were seen enjoying activities such as face painting, caricature, balloon sculpting along with performances, and winning exciting lucky draw prizes. Over 35 entries were received for the TikTok performing arts competition, with the Top 3 winners and Most Popular Award winner clinching trophies and sponsored shopping vouchers worth $2,000 in total. Another 15 submissions were selected as consolation prize winners. Minister of State for Manpower and Education, Ms Gan Siow Huang said, “Today, we celebrate our migrant domestic workers’ contributions to our families and households. Together with valued partners like CDE, the Ministry of Manpower will continue to strengthen the ecosystem of support for our domestic workers.”
This year, CDE hopes to focus on personal development for MDWs and will reach out to the MDW community to promote and create awareness about the importance of upskilling. In addition to our current outreach programmes such as digital literacy and language programmes, CDE is also working on identifying partners to pilot essential caregiver training programmes, such as infant care and eldercare for MDWs so that they can better support their employers with care-giving skills and knowledge.
Since the lifting of SMM, CDE has resumed its ongoing outreach efforts to organise physical activities to engage MDWs on their off days. NTUC Acting Director, Migrant Workers Segment, Michael Lim said, “We are looking to identify and provide social support to MDWs through programmes that will enrich and equip them with new skills and knowledge, especially for those that have newly arrived in Singapore. CDE has been conducting regular outreach sessions such as handicraft workshops and language classes, as well as digital and financial literacy courses. The newly launched CDEConnect Centre at Woodlands is an additional location for us to conduct such events and interactive sessions. We will continue to explore avenues to introduce more relevant trainings for MDWs to enhance their employability and help foster harmonious relationships between employers and our MDWs.”
Pioneering workers' rights since 1961, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) unites 58 trade unions, seven trade associations, 12 social enterprises, and other enterprise partners as we create better lives for workers here in Singapore.