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NTUC celebrates 60 years of bettering lives in Singapore

The congress of labour unions marks its milestone achievements across six decades, even as it looks ahead to the future of Singapore.

NTUC celebrates 60 years of bettering lives in Singapore

FairPrice is just one of the many social enterprises aimed at helping Singaporeans under NTUC's belt. Photos: NTUC Membership

The congress of labour unions marks its milestone achievements across six decades, even as it looks ahead to the future of Singapore.

If there’s one thing workers and industry players have learned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of being able to adapt to a rapidly evolving job market and rising costs of living. These rough times, however, are precisely why social enterprises play an important role in ensuring the livelihoods of Singaporeans are safeguarded.

A few of Singapore's well-known social enterprises were founded during Singapore's early years. These include public-facing supermarket NTUC FairPrice and insurance provider NTUC Income. They were set up by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to support a better quality of life for workers and their families.

NTUC Income, for instance, was developed in 1970 as a co-operative offering affordable insurance to protect low-wage workers. NTUC FairPrice came about in 1973 as a reaction to skyrocketing inflation, to buffer business profiteering through affordable essentials and moderate the cost of living.

The congress of labour unions marks its milestone achievements across six decades, even as it looks ahead to the future of Singapore.

If there’s one thing workers and industry players have learned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of being able to adapt to a rapidly evolving job market and rising costs of living. These rough times, however, are precisely why social enterprises play an important role in ensuring the livelihoods of Singaporeans are safeguarded.

A few of Singapore's well-known social enterprises were founded during Singapore's early years. These include public-facing supermarket NTUC FairPrice and insurance provider NTUC Income. They were set up by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to support a better quality of life for workers and their families.

NTUC Income, for instance, was developed in 1970 as a co-operative offering affordable insurance to protect low-wage workers. NTUC FairPrice came about in 1973 as a reaction to skyrocketing inflation, to buffer business profiteering through affordable essentials and moderate the cost of living.

A ROCK FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

While NTUC has adopted multiple approaches, it holds strong to its core tenet of ensuring gainful employment and improving the quality of life for all working members of society. The Singapore tripartite model sees collaboration among unions (NTUC), employers and the Government to boost Singapore’s economic competitiveness, promote harmonious union-management relations and contribute to overall progress.

Its various approaches have helped protect workers of all collars, and given NTUC a firm foundation to assist those in the lower-wage group – who are often the most affected by market turmoil. These workers who sign up for NTUC membership can enjoy special privileges through NTUC’s numerous social enterprises: NTUC FairPrice, NTUC First Campus, NTUC Foodfare, NTUC Health, NTUC Income, Kopitiam, NTUC LearningHub, NTUC Link, Mercatus and MoneyOwl.

These enterprises help to mitigate the rising costs of living through several benefits and offers. NTUC also works with other local merchants to offer promotions that its members can benefit from. As part of its 60th anniversary, NTUC is sharing a slew of promotions for members new and old.  

PROTECTING WORKERS THROUGH THE YEARS

NTUC has navigated some of the country’s biggest challenges by swiftly adapting to the fast-changing workforce landscape. With COVID-19, NTUC has had its work cut out for them.

Support has been extended to workers in some of the worst-hit industries, such as those in hospitality, retail and aviation. Veteran union leader Ong Hwee Liang, who chairs the NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster, shared that long-standing initiatives like SMART (Supporting jobs, Matching workers to jobs, Advocacy, cReation of jobs Training and competency-building) have eased job distribution and prevented sharp retrenchments.

In the past, NTUC addressed other issues related to Singapore's nascent economy by providing solutions for workers themselves. NTUC First Campus for example, catered to the growing women workforce by allowing the option for mothers to place their kids at affordable preschools. As food prices continued to rise, Singaporeans could enjoy regular hawker meals at moderated prices with NTUC Foodfare. And as the silver generation grew, NTUC Health was created to provide comprehensive health and eldercare services to ensure aging support is readily available.

The congress of labour unions marks its milestone achievements across six decades, even as it looks ahead to the future of Singapore.

If there’s one thing workers and industry players have learned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of being able to adapt to a rapidly evolving job market and rising costs of living. These rough times, however, are precisely why social enterprises play an important role in ensuring the livelihoods of Singaporeans are safeguarded.

A few of Singapore's well-known social enterprises were founded during Singapore's early years. These include public-facing supermarket NTUC FairPrice and insurance provider NTUC Income. They were set up by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to support a better quality of life for workers and their families.

NTUC Income, for instance, was developed in 1970 as a co-operative offering affordable insurance to protect low-wage workers. NTUC FairPrice came about in 1973 as a reaction to skyrocketing inflation, to buffer business profiteering through affordable essentials and moderate the cost of living.

A ROCK FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

While NTUC has adopted multiple approaches, it holds strong to its core tenet of ensuring gainful employment and improving the quality of life for all working members of society. The Singapore tripartite model sees collaboration among unions (NTUC), employers and the Government to boost Singapore’s economic competitiveness, promote harmonious union-management relations and contribute to overall progress.

Its various approaches have helped protect workers of all collars, and given NTUC a firm foundation to assist those in the lower-wage group – who are often the most affected by market turmoil. These workers who sign up for NTUC membership can enjoy special privileges through NTUC’s numerous social enterprises: NTUC FairPrice, NTUC First Campus, NTUC Foodfare, NTUC Health, NTUC Income, Kopitiam, NTUC LearningHub, NTUC Link, Mercatus and MoneyOwl.

These enterprises help to mitigate the rising costs of living through several benefits and offers. NTUC also works with other local merchants to offer promotions that its members can benefit from. As part of its 60th anniversary, NTUC is sharing a slew of promotions for members new and old.  

PROTECTING WORKERS THROUGH THE YEARS

NTUC has navigated some of the country’s biggest challenges by swiftly adapting to the fast-changing workforce landscape. With COVID-19, NTUC has had its work cut out for them.

Support has been extended to workers in some of the worst-hit industries, such as those in hospitality, retail and aviation. Veteran union leader Ong Hwee Liang, who chairs the NTUC Aerospace and Aviation Cluster, shared that long-standing initiatives like SMART (Supporting jobs, Matching workers to jobs, Advocacy, cReation of jobs Training and competency-building) have eased job distribution and prevented sharp retrenchments.

In the past, NTUC addressed other issues related to Singapore's nascent economy by providing solutions for workers themselves. NTUC First Campus for example, catered to the growing women workforce by allowing the option for mothers to place their kids at affordable preschools. As food prices continued to rise, Singaporeans could enjoy regular hawker meals at moderated prices with NTUC Foodfare. And as the silver generation grew, NTUC Health was created to provide comprehensive health and eldercare services to ensure aging support is readily available.

Even today, NTUC members can enjoy benefits that help stretch their dollar. Necessities such as insurance and healthcare are just some of the many needs that NTUC catered to under its umbrella of social enterprises. In fact, as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, NTUC is offering members’ rates for health screenings at NTUC Health Family Medicine Clinic and basic dental services at NTUC Health Denticare. Members are also eligible for NTUC Income’s complimentary S$50,000 LUV Term Life Insurance Basic cover for the first year, worth up to S$228. Promotion terms and conditions, and policy conditions apply.

A NEW MILLENIA, A NEW VISION

NTUC continues to champion for workers and their concerns for the future. Employability has always been a worry for growing economies and the NTUC LearningHub, established in 2004, was introduced amid the intensifying need for continuous education and training as the workforce prepared for a post-SARS economy.

The social enterprise has achieved over 2.6 million training places — including that of organisations and individuals — to habitualise learning to maintain lifelong employability by offering training that delivers on strong employment outcomes. As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, members can sign up for an LHUB GO 60-course package for just S$6.

With the long-term future in mind, another social enterprise that members can take advantage of is MoneyOwl. Set up to help working families in Singapore achieve greater financial security and better preparation for their retirement, the investment platform combines robo-advisory and a team of advisers to deliver fit-for-purpose financial products. MoneyOwl's suite of services covers budgeting, protection, wealth accumulation and use of CPF and other schemes for retirement planning; as well as modular services in each of the areas of insurance, portfolio investments and will writing. For NTUC's 60th anniversary, members can enjoy zero per cent advisory fees on the recently launched Fullerton MoneyOwl WiseIncome fund.

As NTUC celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, find out how the union is planning to continue helping its members and their loved ones.

 

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