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National Day 2008: An Inclusive Labour Movement Celebrates the Singapore Spirit!

In a reflection of the Singapore spirit, the Labour Movement will be celebrating this years National Day in a vibrant and inclusive way.
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31 Jul 2008
Model ID: a62e85dd-3ec2-4ead-af88-106f6385afef Sitecore Context Id: a62e85dd-3ec2-4ead-af88-106f6385afef;

In a reflection of the Singapore spirit, the Labour Movement will be celebrating this year’s National Day in a vibrant and inclusive way. Throughout the month of August, about 20,000 union members, together with their families and friends, and management representatives will come together to pledge their loyalty and love for the country through various events organised by the Labour Movement.

Breaking the Singapore Records of the Largest Human Flag Again!

Last year, the Labour Movement drew 8,667 participants who used red and white umbrellas to form the largest human flag. This year, in a bigger and more inclusive effort, Young NTUC is attempting to break its previous national record to form the largest human flag of 12,288 participants twice, once in the day and once in the night. The day and night component will reflect a bustling and vibrant Singapore which never sleeps.

From conceptualising and planning the event to customising and producing the props, the Young NTUC team spent nine months preparing for the big day. At its first rehearsal at One Marina Boulevard, NTUC Centre, on 1 August 2008, 410 participants turned up to form part of the Singapore flag – the crescents and the stars. Including the formation of the flag on the actual day on 9 August 2008, all participants will spend about 68,404 hours rehearsing in total. The response rate was so-overwhelming that all 12,288 tickets were snapped up within a month. Due to insufficient tickets, those that registered online even had to ballot for them (1,632 tickets registered, but only 884 available).

Formation of the Day Flag at 6.40pm

At the Young NTUC Celebrates! National Day 2008 event at the Padang, union members and leaders, staff of NTUC and co-operatives, and their families and friends, will each be given an inflatable with reverse sides of red and white to form the Day Flag.

Formation of the Night Flag at 8.05pm

By nightfall, participants will take their respective positions with an LED light strobe each to “ignite” the Night Flag. This hand-held device can be switched on to reflect either the red or white shades of the Singapore flag. To pledge the Labour Movement’s loyalty to Singapore, a human “U” Hallmark will also be formed at the heart of the Singapore flag. Due to poor visibility at night, it will be a more challenging task to form the human flag this year.

Audiences at the floating platform will also use their lighted gloves (given in their goodie bags) to wave to everyone. Together with the illuminated Night Flag, this is a visual representation of Singaporeans all over the world celebrating our nation’s birthday simultaneously. Participants will also show their loyalty to Singapore by rounding up the flag formation process with the National Anthem and pledge-taking. Lastly, to maintain the vibrancy of the celebrations, there will also be a post-parade live concert by p.L.a.Y!, Young NTUC’s very own performance arts group, at the Padang.

18 Union-Management and 3 Special National Day Observance Ceremonies

Reflecting the strong labour-management relations in Singapore, various unions, together with their managements and workers, will celebrate National Day together in 21 National Day Observance Ceremonies (NDOCs) held throughout the month of August, involving a total of more than 6,000 union leaders, management representatives. These union-management NDOCs are organised in various sectors ranging from public transport, petroleum, shipbuilding, chemical, construction to healthcare.

For the very first time, three out of 21 NDOCs will recognise key groups of the workforce in which the Labour Movement has been dedicated to helping. To celebrate the Labour Movement’s inclusive spirit, NDOCs for the older workforce, female workforce, and casual and contract workers have been organised. These groups of workers are highlighted to recognise their contributions to Singapore’s economic success. The NDOC for the Silver Collar will be celebrated as part of the Active Ageing Festival to be held on 23 August 2008, Saturday at Ngee Ann City’s Civic Plaza, while the NTUC Women’s Development Secretariat (WDS) will organise their NDOC on 26 August 2008, Tuesday. Contract and casual workers from all over Singapore will also gather to observe National Day at the Unit for Contract and Casual Workers’ (UCCW) NDOC on 30 August 2008, Saturday.

NTUC Marching Contingent for National Day Parade

As a well-grounded tradition, the Labour Movement has participated in the Parade and Ceremony Segment of the National Day Parade since 1966. This year, NTUC will send a marching contingent, consisting of 73 members (10 as reserve) aged between 20 to 65 years. The NTUC marching contingent will be led by contingent commander, Mr Fang Chin Poh, the General Secretary of the National Transport Workers’ Union, who is also an NTUC Central Committee member.

Also pledging their love together for the nation is Mr. Johari Arwee, aged 49, from Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore (UTES) and his wife Ms. Siti Sa’diah Binte Kemat, aged 47, from Housing and Development Board Staff Union (HDBSU). He said, “It was my wife who wanted to make this a family affair and encouraged me to join the marching contingent. In fact, this is our third year participating as a couple because we enjoy the rush of patriotism during the parade. It is also a special feeling to celebrate with so many people on-site. Next year, I hope to get my two elder children involved as well!”

Lighted display of the Labour Movement U Hallmark at OMB Building

On 9 August 2008, everyone will also get to enjoy the changing displays of the lighted “U” Hallmark signage at the peak of One Marina Boulevard building, which houses NTUC Centre. Attuned to the spirit of the National Day celebrations, there will be two sets of images showcasing fireworks and the Singapore flag.

As the nation celebrates the Singapore Spirit, the Labour Movement also wishes all Singaporeans a Happy National Day!

Ms Shona Tan
Corporate Communications Department
National Trades Union Congress