20131031 Helping low wage workers, NTUC hoping for magic source from heaven?

CNA’s article “NTUC hopes for breakthrough in low-wage workers’ pay increases” is testament to its failure as the biggest ‘workers’ union’ in the world. NTUC appears uncertain and and pessimistic and is now living on hope.

This sad state of affair is not surprising because, as a ‘workers’ union’, NTUC has all the while supported government policies to suppress the income of low-wage workers. The government then plays the role of the ‘good guy’ by offering taxpayers’ money in the form of a variety of financial schemes for a problem it has created. Profits of businesses increase and politicians are able to trumpet to the world our ‘successful’ Singapore Inc. model. At the same time, they demand a bigger cut of the pie for themselves and business owners, causing the wealth gap to increase further.

The foreign press lap up the propaganda in our mainstream media, disregarding the stress and suffering of millions of ordinary citizens.

NTUC’s latest experiment is a sector by sector accreditation schemes to force businesses into accepting its “progressive wage” model. Lim Swee Say imagines his theoretical construct to be superior to the minimum wage model adopted by most countries.

Swee Say’s academic approach to the real world has seen none of his imagined scenarios pan out. In fact, the opposite has happened, causing our poverty level has risen from 16 per cent to 26 per cent.

Swee Say:
“The best thing that the workers can do for – to look after businesses, is to upgrade their skill..”
“On the part of the businesses..give (workers) wage improvement.”
“For PMEs, the aim is to bring unionisation rates from 20 to 25 per cent.”

The above confirm our Singapore Inc model i.e. workers having “to look after businesses”. That businesses also need to be told to provide employees with salary increases confirms an abuse which has been ongoing for years. So long as the NTUC continues to support our slave-waged policies, businesses will continue to look after only its bottom line instead of their employees.

Increasing PME’s “unionisation rates from 20 per cent to 25 per cent” is simply a means to increase its control over more middle income employees. “The aim to strengthen and formalise tripartism” is to cement its grip on employees (through legislation) where there will be no grievance channel other than NTUC. No prizes for guessing the outcome.

NTUC attempts to explain away its epic failure by stating that “for all its efforts to bear fruit, strong tripartism – where employers, the government and unions cooperate, has to be widespread.”

(In this 2009 youtube video, Lim sang praises of our tripartism and how Singapore got out of the recession in our unique way. His claims are rather laughable as they dismiss all external conditions which affected every country. Caution – the way he speaks is an embarrassment.)

So wasn’t tripartism already widespread with the presence of only ‘government’s workers’ unions’?

The point is tripartism deprives a worker of his rights, degrading a human being into a mechanical part subservient to his profit driven master. The power vested in a large organisation like the NTUC has crippled many with fear. With the NTUC and government in business, where is the interest of workers represented?

After the strike by SMRT bus drivers last year, NTUC wanted more PRC drivers unionised (controlled) to prevent a recurrence. But having the backing of a ‘union’ in Singapore really works against the interest of the worker. The most recent case would be sacking of a train driver who had given 18 years of his life to the SMRT. Not a word was heard from NTUC after ‘Gintai’ was sacked. http://therealsingapore.com/content/smrt-fired-gintai-bad-move-really-bad-move

When NTUC “hopes for breakthrough in low-wage workers’ pay increases”, one should expect nothing from a union which lives on hope.

Phillip Ang

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