The Labour Movement and U

How we grow the Labour Movement

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) currently has 58 affiliated unions and seven affiliated associations. The main aims of our affiliated trade unions are to protect our workers’ rights and advocate for their interests - both of which, are outcomes of utmost importance to the Labour Movement. Specifically, unions represent workers in collective bargaining as well as in other areas such as wrongful dismissals, retrenchment benefits and employment terms and practices.



Representation and Protection of Our Working People

Representation is one of the key ways that NTUC, through its affiliated unions and associations, protects and enhances the rights and welfare of workers. Unions can represent both rank and file workers, and executive workers in collective bargaining, appeals against wrongful dismissals and negotiations for retrenchment benefits, and resolutions on employment terms. These are achieved against the backdrop of collaborative mindset that seeks a win-win-win strategy with the Government and employers.


With amendments to the Industrial Relations Act, the rank and file trade unions can collectively represent executive employees, except for those with specific responsibilities. Additionally, rank and file trade unions can also represent executive employees on an individual basis in five areas of disputes, namely dismissal without just cause or excuse, retrenchment benefits, breach of employment contract, victimisation, and re-employment.



Skills Training and Upgrading

As advancing workers’ interests and enhancing their employability, NTUC’s network of unions and associations plays a key role in encouraging workers to go for skills training, upgrading and upskilling. Workers can approach our related organisations, Social Enterprises and departments, such as e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), U Care Centre, U PME Centre, and NTUC LearningHub to find out how they can improve themselves and participate in various programmes and training workshops offered.


Funding schemes such the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) are also available to assist workers financially as they seek to be lifelong learners.


To help both workers and companies transform for the future, NTUC introduced the Company Training Committees (CTCs). First announced in February 2019, this initiative by the Labour Movement involves our union leaders working closely with management to

understand the company’s strategic objectives and transformation plans
identify and address skills gaps and training needs
seize opportunities for companies to adopt new technologies for enhanced productivity


The objectives of CTCs are two-pronged – first, to help workers become Worker 4.0, which is defined by the Labour Movement as workers who are proficient in working with machines, using technology and tapping digital resources to be more productive at work; and second, to partner companies in their transformation towards Industry 4.0. Combined, these will help our workers have better Wages, Welfare and Work Prospects.