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Labour movement wants more PMEs

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The labour movement is hoping to welcome more professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) into its fold, as the country’s workforce profile continues to change.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the union is looking into ways to extend more support to PMEs as they provide “different types of workers and jobs”, Channel News Asia reported.

Speaking at a May Day dinner, Teo said the ties between labour-management relations and unions will become “even more important” as Singapore’s economy continues to restructure for growth.

Teo said PMEs will soon form the majority of the Singaporean workforce, and therefore will need better workplace representation.

“Hence, it is important to strengthen our current channels to bring more PMEs into the realm of tripartism,” he said.

Patrick Tay, NTUC director for the legal services department, and the professionals, managers and executives unit, said the union group has recognised the need to include PMEs in their efforts.

“Currently prohibited, there is a need for rank-and-file unions to be able to collectively represent PMEs in areas which are important for them. This collective bargaining should be in areas such as increments, bonuses, re-employment and when retrenchment occurs,” Tay said.

Teo added a tripartite work group has been monitoring the issue of PMEs closely and will be presenting a joint proposal to the Singapore government.

“With our constructive approach towards tripartism, I believe it is possible to achieve a win-win-win arrangement for the PMEs, unions and management,” Teo said.

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