Model ID: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a Sitecore Context Id: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a;

NTUC Unveils Renewed Workers’ Compact After Year-Long Engagement with Over 42,000 Workers

Model ID: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a Sitecore Context Id: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a;
29 Sep 2023
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Model ID: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a Sitecore Context Id: 58f4498f-f663-4955-a17b-97588546c49a;
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) held the closing event for the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations (#EWMC) today. Launched in August 2022, #EWMC is a year-long public engagement exercise that aimed to engage workers from different ages, collars and sectors to understand their needs, challenges and aspirations at work and in their daily lives. Held at the NTUC Centre, the closing event was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, and hosted by NTUC President Mary Liew and NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.

To date, NTUC has engaged over 42,000 workers in Singapore to hear their views about work – surpassing the initial target of 20,000. The findings and recommendations derived from these engagements were presented in the #EWMC report which will allow NTUC to shape a Renewed Workers’ Compact to guide the next phase of championing workers’ interests.

A Renewed Workers’ Compact

At the closing event, NTUC presented an overview of salient insights and recommendations from the #EWMC report. NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng then provided some remarks elaborating on the journey that NTUC will take for the years to come as they continue advocating for workers. Thereafter, a panel dialogue session was held to discuss how these recommendations will impact workers and meet work-life needs.

In 1969, NTUC organised the “Modernisation Seminar” to revive the Labour Movement in an era when workers felt that trade unions were not effectively representing their interests. The seminar put forth a new direction and new principles for a reinvigorated Labour Movement, allowing it to play its part in nation-building to remain relevant to workers and serve a modernising society. In a similar vein, #EWMC serves to help NTUC understand workers’ current needs, the key enablers to help them succeed in their careers, and the support they require at every life stage. The exercise will help sharpen NTUC’s future efforts to support workers.

In the Renewed Workers’ Compact, NTUC will continue to forge strong relationships with workers and journey with them through every life stage. Armed with fresh insights and ideas, NTUC will also work closely with tripartite partners to push out these recommendations in order to co-create an economically vibrant Singapore where every worker can work and live with dignity. The key worker groups that NTUC has identified are youths, mid-career workers, caregivers, older workers and vulnerable workers.

  Our Renewed Workers’ Compact

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Through #EWMC, it is evident that work and life concerns are closely intertwined. A common denominator across all worker groups is that all workers desire autonomy in their work and life decisions, endeavour to remain adaptable and resilient in a volatile and dynamic economy, and seek assurance that they will be supported if they face challenges at each life stage.

a. Autonomy in Work and Life Decisions:
#EWMC findings show that youths crave a deeper sense of purpose at work and desire the flexibility to explore their own career trajectories through internships and mentorships. At the opposite end of the age spectrum, older workers also indicated that they aspire to engage in meaningful, dignified work. Threats to their sense of dignity include age discrimination and perceptions of redundancy. Caregivers, faced with increasing responsibilities as Singapore ages, hope for better work-life harmony so that they may be empowered to continue caregiving while pursuing their career aspirations.

b. Adaptability in an Open and Dynamic Economy:
Workers across age groups recognise the importance of adaptability, upskilling and staying competitive amidst increasing rates of skills obsolescence. Mid-career workers expressed a higher level of anxiety regarding job loss and staying relevant in rapidly evolving industries. More needs to be done to help mid-career workers enhance their career prospects and meet industry

demands through upskilling. Similarly, older workers face a high risk of skill obsolescence and wish for fair employment and age-inclusive training opportunities. With a rising interest in side hustles, youths are looking for adaptable workplaces to accommodate diverse career aspirations and evolving needs.

c. Assurance for Challenges Faced in Life:
Vulnerable workers, comprising of Lower-Wage Workers (LWWs) and Self-Employed Persons (SEPs), face financial insecurity, a lack of awareness of how they may pursue training and career progression, and inadequate resources for unexpected crises and for retirement. These issues are compounded with rising costs of living. Proposed recommendations to expand the Progressive Wage framework and professionalise skilled trades could uplift LWWs with better wages and work prospects. Likewise, older workers who are concerned with retirement adequacy seek greater assurance that they will be taken care of if they have dedicated their lives to hard work.

Embarking on a New Phase in Championing Workers’ Rights & Interests

NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said, “NTUC wants to reaffirm our compact with workers, including PMEs. Having heard from over 42,000 working people, we have a deeper understanding of their anxieties and aspirations. We will do our best to support them throughout their life stages. In this renewed compact, all of us have important parts to play. Let's make it a habit to put our heads, hearts and hands in collective action to build better lives and livelihoods for all.”

Mr Ng Chia Wee, a recent graduate of National University of Singapore and a participant of #EWMC said, “My tomorrow is one where every young worker feels hopeful about the future, whatever career path they choose. Whatever path they enter, they can have the assurance that they can go as far as they want, and NTUC will be there to support them along the way.”

To read the full report and to learn more about #EWMC, please visit for more information.