The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) affiliated unions has voted to update NTUC’s constitution and extend its network to serve ‘all working people’ yesterday (Nov 15).

According to a statement, a set of nine papers that chart the future of the labour movement (LM) was endorsed by the delegates at the NTUC Ordinary Delegates’ Conference (ODC) - including one that will expand the unions’ protection and privileges to all groups of workers.

In particular, LM will use its network of industry expertise of U Associates to enable professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) to expand their networks and acquire new skills to stay competitive in the rapidly changing economy.

Additionally, the U SME network will partner with leaders and HR managers of SMEs to equip them with capabilities and capacities to take better care of their workers.

When asked about how closely the labour movement works with employers to ensure fair treatment of workers, NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing told Human Resources: “With the HR managers and the CEOs of the companies there has been regular dialogue and conversation.”

“It’s not a one-sided relationship about what the labour movement is asking them to do, it is actually a two-way relationship, where they will also share with us their challenges, the need to retrain their workers, and how the labour movement can help them,” he added.

At a dialogue panel after the ODC, Ong Ye Kung, minister for education (higher education and skills) and second minister for defence, discussed the need for employers to change its focus in hiring criteria from grades to skills.

He stated that most CEOs would agree that workers should not be hired based on academic grades but HR departments need to align with this philosophy.

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