The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is more than just a supermarket, an insurance provider or a childcare group. It is also at the heart of Singapore's labour movement, championing the rights of workers of all collars, ages and nationalities. This means ensuring that union members work in good working conditions, receive a fair return for their labour and are provided with training opportunities to upgrade their skills.
It takes people of a certain sense of empathy to advocate this mission. Fueled with this attribute are six unique individuals who play important roles in reaching out not just to rank-and-file workers but also to Professionals, Managers, Executives (PMEs), freelancers, associations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to cater to the evolving needs of the workforce. Supporting entirely different market segments, they share what they like about their roles at the organisation.
Wee Keng Jee Nicole
Assistant Director (Engagement), Membership Department
"We are driven by a common cause to support the working people of Singapore. The definition of working people has expanded over the years – it's no longer just employees of big organisations we support but also freelancers and workers in startups, as these are also viable and sustainable career options."
Tan Wee How
Assistant Director, Hospitality & Business Services, Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)
"We as NTUC as well as e2i continually evolve to make ourselves relevant to the working people. We continually want to find solutions to address their challenges. This makes our job both challenging and at the same time meaningful. Our work benefits the working people as per e2i's mission: ‘Better Jobs, Better Lives'."
Foo Sze Ying Zinc
Account Manager (U Associate), Membership Department
"The job fulfilment comes when I see our efforts meeting the evolving needs of the PMEs and positively influencing their career advancement opportunities. We work closely with our U Associates to develop industry-led sectoral programmes to upskill and multi-skill the PMEs, and create platforms for them to build networks within and beyond their current industries. These efforts help to prepare them to be future-ready, equip them with the necessary skillsets and networks to propel their careers forward, and opening them to a world of opportunities."
Senior Industrial Relations Officer, Chemical Industries Employees' Union
"I remember attending to a case in the General Branch unit, which handles grievances from union members working in non-unionised companies. A union member felt that she was being treated unfairly by her boss who wanted to terminate her yet did not indicate her last date of tenure. This union member felt uncertain and depressed, and often cried over the phone when we spoke. I negotiated with her boss to allow her to do a smooth and quick handover so she could be on leave for the remainder of her notice period. Eventually the boss acceded to our request and allowed her to leave the company earlier. I was glad that I had managed to help her secure a fair outcome and more importantly give her ease of mind."
Poh Suat Hoon Evelyn
Manager, Small & Medium Enterprises Secretariat
"I decided to join NTUC after learning about NTUC setting up a SME Secretariat. I reckoned that my previous experience working with SMEs, growing the SMEs will be relevant and could value add to NTUC. I chose this job as I would like to contribute not only to the growth of SMEs but also taking care of the SMEs workers. My job involves engaging SMEs to grow their companies and for their workers to grow with them. My responsibilities include event management, account management of SMEs, and engaging the C-suite and HR leaders to improve the working environment. NTUC has certainly helped to widen my perspective and improve my interpersonal skills."
Tan Jian Wei Jayden
Industrial Relations Officer, Metal Industries Workers' Union
"When I interviewed for the Industrial Relations Officer position, I was told that the job is more than meets the eye. You have to know about Human Resources, understand the law, handle members' grievances; as well as growing and expanding our membership base. I find this extremely challenging and suitable for my personality. In fact, there were other firms who were keen to employ me as a programmer but I disliked routine work. Thus, I decided to join NTUC."