The purpose of this report is to discuss on the reasons for decline of union membership in Singapore and to provide suggestions on how to increase its appeal to the young people, the Generation Y, in the workforce. Generation Y refers to babies born after the year 1980 (Kuijsters, n.d.)
The report will have an introduction of union in Singapore,National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), and analyse the existing strategies and positive aspects thathave been implemented to improve the union membership especially for the Generation Y.
About Unions in Singapore
NTUC isa central trade union organization in Singapore (Chia 2008) which comprises 60 affiliated unions, 1 affiliated taxi association, 14 social enterprises, 5 related organisations. “NTUC 's objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and workers remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of workers; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement.” (NTUC, n.d.)
Back in the past, workers were treated unfairly and paid with lowsalaries, the main role of the union was to use collective bargaining to help employees negotiate with employers for welfare such as better wages, improve workplace conditions and health safety. As Singapore progress, the government implement legislations to ensure good working conditions and safety which affects the union.
Labour Relations legislations such as Employment Act (Cap 91), Industrial Relations Act (Cap 136) and Trade Unions Act (Cap 333) (MOM, 2014) have provided guidelines for employers and basic needs for the employees’ employment, rights and benefits, causing union membership rates to decline. Section 27 of the Trade Unions Act (Cap 333) further decreased the value of unions as it deemed strikes as illegal. (Attorney-General’s Chambers, 2004). These legislations act reduce the feeling and needs of an employee to join unions.
Another factor that decreases the need for union is the National Wage Council (NWC)
References: Chia, J. (2008).“Singapore Association of Trade Unions”. Retrieved from http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_1237_2008-11-30.html Kuijsters, F AsiaOne. (2012). NTUC calls for flexible working arrangements, more paternity leave. Retrieved from http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20121006-376032.html Tan, C Hudson. (2011). The Hudson Report Employment And HR Trends October - December 2011. Retrieved from http://hudson.sg/Portals/SG/documents/Hudson%20Report/Hudson%20Report%20Q4%202011%20-%20Singapore.pdf iPrepNS Teo, Z. (2013). Educational Profile of Singapore Resident Non-Students, 2002 - 2012. Retrieved from http://www.singstat.gov.sg/publications/publications_and_papers/education_and_literacy/ssnmar13-pg1-7.pdf KOR, K Mongabay. (1989). Singapore-Industrial Relations and Labor Unions. Retrieved from http://www.mongabay.com/history/singapore/singapore-industrial_relations_and_labor_unions.html#KBfy7P7ps35GXLZG.99