It was reported within the media at this time that the service sector unionists met up with President Halimah and instructed her about their worries with regard to job safety within the face of world uncertainty, impending financial downturn and restructuring of the business (‘Service-sector unions tell President of job fears amid headwinds‘, 9 Oct).
They met the President on the Istana for a closed-door dialogue yesterday (eight Oct). Labour Chief and Minister in Prime Minister’s Workplace, Ng Chee Meng, was additionally current within the assembly.
Nevertheless, the President mentioned she was assured the unionists would be capable to deal with the potential difficulties.
“Our unionists have had the expertise of going by way of such a downturn and recession,” she mentioned.
She talked about that the unionists have gained expertise serving to and supporting employees in the course of the 2009 world monetary disaster.
“So it’s not as in the event you’re coming in fully new, with none expertise in coping with downturns and the way to help employees,” she added.
President Halimah additionally mentioned that Singapore authorities has made “super” efforts to enhance the abilities of employees, citing the SkillsFuture initiative and programmes by Workforce Singapore like its Adapt and Develop initiative.
“These are programmes and abilities that may help and assist the employees, within the occasion of a downturn and so they’re confronted with retrenchment and must search for different employment.”
She added that previous expertise has proven that the unions are robust sufficient to help employees and their households in a downturn.
Regardless of the federal government’s efforts to enhance the abilities of employees like initiating the SkillsFuture initiative and programmes, many employees who couldn’t get a job after looking out for a very long time are more and more resorting to driving Grab and taxi in order to make ends meet.
Shaun Ow, 39, was working within the personal sector for some 11 years in varied industries earlier than he was retrenched Four-5 years in the past. He then tried to discover a job for greater than a yr earlier than giving up. He ended up driving Seize to feed his household.
He instructed the media that he has been a non-public rent automotive driver for the final three-and-a-half years and manages to earn about $5,000 a month after accounting for all the costs. However he has to work very laborious, driving on a regular basis for 12 to 14 hours continuous. On common, he could be making 20 to 25 journeys each day and hardly has any time for his household.
“Passengers typically assume our job is straightforward – sitting in an air-conditioned setting is straightforward. However I all the time inform them: You discover one weekend, have two one-hour breaks for lunch and dinner, and sit in a snug couch for 12 hours simply watching TV. You’ll really feel sore backs, sore shoulders, sore necks, sore in every single place,” he mentioned.
In the meantime, the federal government continues to difficulty work passes to foreigners to work in Singapore.