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SDP: Improve Laws so Workers Aren’t “Manipulated” by those At the Top for Selfish Gains

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The Singapore Democrats have released their May Day message, urging that more be done to protect the rights and welfare of Singaporeans workers.

It called for the government to improve labour laws so that workers are not “controlled and manipulated for the benefit of those at the top to progressing to a genuinely inclusive economy where working Singaporeans enjoy the full benefits of their labour.”

This is the SDP’s May Day message in full:

As we commemorate another May Day, we are only too aware that Singaporean workers have never been more vulnerable.

The facts bear this out:

  • Our income inequality remains one of the highest in the industrialised world as the PAP continues to resist enacting a national minimum wage law.
  • Even middle-income households find it difficult to make ends meet in a city ranked as the most expensive in the world.
  • The Government insists on an immigration policy that indiscriminately lets in foreign workers, many of whom have been discovered to possess dubious qualifications and skill sets, to compete with local ones.
  • Our workers work the longest hours without meaningful wage increase.
  • Singaporean workers are the unhappiest in Asia.

As a result, productivity levels of our workforce continue to disappoint. With the Government stating that wages cannot increase without productivity rise, the outlook for our workers is bleak.

What Singapore needs now is enlightened governance. We need a government that realises that productivity can only improve if we take care of our workers’ well-being and job satisfaction. In other words, it needs to generate well-paid, meaningful jobs for the people.

In addition, we need to improve labour laws that protect and empower workers. To this end, the NTUC, controlled by the PAP, is the biggest obstacle to improving the conditions and happiness of our workers.

Without the ability of workers to organise and defend themselves against exploitative corporate interests – of which the PAP Government plays a dominant role – Singapore cannot make the progress that we so desperately need.

We must shift gears from stagnating as an extractive system where workers are controlled and manipulated for the benefit of those at the top to progressing to a genuinely inclusive economy where working Singaporeans enjoy the full benefits of their labour.

In reordering government-management-labour relations in Singapore, we will drive productivity upwards and build an innovative culture that will put our nation and economy in good stead.

The SDP has developed alternative policy ideas to achieve such reform and advancement, and we are excited to push for them in the next Parliament. Read our policy here.

As in years past, we reiterate our commitment to fight with our workers for their rights and well-being, and in so doing make Singapore a better place for all.

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