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NTUC Thanks Migrant Workers in May Day Celebration

The Labour Movement sees workplace, safety and health as an issue that needs to be continuously looked into.
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Some 6,000 migrant workers joined NTUC and the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) on 29 May 2022 in celebrating May Day at the MWC Recreation Club.

The event was held to thank migrant workers for their hard work throughout the pandemic.

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Melvin Yong attended the event as guest of honour.

Through the months of April and May, migrant workers were treated to a slew of educational and recreational activities.

The celebrations ended with a virtual show in the evening which featured performances by popular Indian celebrity Sasikumar and lucky draws.

Over 50,000 migrant workers were expected to tune-in to the show streamed on MWC’s Facebook page.

Caring for Migrant Workers

To celebrate the gradual transition back to pre-COVID times, the May Day celebrations with migrant workers kicked-off with a photo contest.

Featuring their favourite moments in Singapore, the top three winners of the contest walked away with NTUC FairPrice vouchers.

MWC collaborated with student volunteers to organise various educational and recreational activities to bond with migrant workers, including packing more than 3,000 care packs consisting of items such as toiletries and dry rations, to be delivered with the help of over 100 NTUC U SME partners.

MWC also organised a cricket competition in partnership with NTUC U SME. A total of 16 teams signed up.

The finals took place in the morning of 29 May 2022, and the grand winners were presented with NTUC FairPrice vouchers, trophies and medals at the end of the event.

Additionally, MWC worked with partners such as the Workplace Safety and Health Council (WSHC), Essilor Vision FoundationSingtel and DBS/POSB and the Singapore Police Force to set up booths at the event. 

The booths were set up with migrant workers' work and lifestyle needs in mind, ensuring that they have a convenient access to essential services. 

Safety of Migrant Workers a Concern

At the event, Mr Yong touched on MWC’s plans to partner NTUC LearningHub to pilot online bite-sized courses to help migrant workers become more familiar with workplace safety and health guidelines.

The plan follows the recent increase in workplace fatalities in Singapore.

MWC will pilot the online programme with unionised companies and tripartite partners, adding that details will be given at a later date.

“Migrant workers' safety and well-being are of utmost priority. Given the recent spate of workplace fatalities, NTUC is looking at ways to enhance the safety knowledge of our migrant workers to ensure that their work environment is a safe one,” Mr Yong said.

Currently, all migrant workers are required to obtain a safety certification either upon arrival or when they renew their work passes.

The most recent workplace fatality in Singapore occurred on 19 May 2022, after a 49-year-old worker plunged 9.5m to his death while doing roof-cleaning work.

The accident brought the 2022 workplace fatality numbers up to 24, the highest in the same period since 2016.

By mid-May, over 12,000 companies had called a safety time-out, after 10 workers died in April alone.

Singapore plans to bring the workplace fatality rates down to below one for every 100,000 workers by 2028.

Only four countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have managed to bring fatality rates down to below one per 100,000 workers. They are Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.