LOW-WAGE WORKERS SALARY PRODUCTIVITY
Singapore – Around 10,000 low-wage Singaporean workers will receive higher salaries by 2015, as the government looks to commit $70 million towards boosting wages.
The additional funds will benefit another 70,000 workers under the Inclusive Growth Programme over the next three years. Currently, the government has committed S$30 million to the programme, which started in 2010. About 33,000 workers have seen an average increase of 10% in their basic pay so far, TODAY reported.
At the May Day Dinner held yesterday by the labour movement, deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam cited helping low-wage workers gain from economic restructuring through higher pay as one of the challenges in the quest for "a more inclusive Singapore".
"We can and must do more for them," Shanmugaratnam said. He called on Singaporeans to “respect every worker, no matter how simple the job”. “We all have to do more, whether as employers, as fellow workers and colleagues at work or as customers and members of the public,” he said.
Another challenge is to “maximise opportunities for the middle class”, which is made up mostly of professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).
To achieve this, he said the government will work closely with the labour movement to “consider how the unions can play a greater role in representing the interests of PMEs”, in addition to expanding the number and types of PME training courses and setting up a dedicated channel to provide advice and career services.
Shanmugaratnam reiterated that the labour movement has to stay relevant to workers; for instance, by continuing to invest in its rank and file workers even as the proportion of PMEs continues to grow.
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