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Singapore – Labour movement to groom future union leaders

01 November 2013

Union members in Singapore will soon get more help to become leaders in the Labour Movement, reports Channel News Asia. From next January, a structured ‘development circuit’ to identify and mentor such leaders will be progressively introduced.

The number of union leaders in the Labour Movement has grown from 5,800 in 2009 to approximately 6,200 in 2013 with the aim to increase its number even more.

Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), said: “It is not easy to get the young people to step up to union leadership. Some people are worried about their time commitment, other are thinking whether or not their companies would like them being involved as union leaders.”

The Labour Movement has advised that there is no quota that it would like to meet, but the focus is on making its leadership as inclusive as possible across sectors, races, age groups, and gender. This is particularly relevant for female leadership, which the Labour Movement would like to increase beyond its current pool of about 1,700.

The Labour Movement wants to strengthen its leadership so as to influence the outcomes in tripartite discussion with the government and employers.

Lim Swee Say. Secretary General of the NTUC, added: “As we move forward, more and more of the action and consensus that we have to reach are not just at the national level, but also at the sectoral level. So what it means is that for the labour leadership, we have to be strong at the union level, the national level, as-well-as the sectoral level.” 

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