Mar 3, 2009

Why The Retrenched People in Singapore Particularly Need Help

NTUC promises to help retrenched workers:


Feb 21, 2009
Retrenched to get more aid
By Nur Dianah Suhaimi

RETRENCHED workers can expect more help from the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), which hopes to boost its war chest to $20 million this year.

Particularly in need are retrenched workers who received little, if any, retrenchment benefit, said its secretary-general, Mr Lim Swee Say, yesterday (21/2).

To help this group tide over difficult times, NTUC may add a new 'hardship grant' component to its Care and Share fund, which currently provides aid to needy union members in the form of transport and utility vouchers.

The fund will increase its annual budget to at least $20 million this year, compared to $13.1 million last year and $7 million in 2007.

Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, spoke to reporters at the Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU) bursary awards event yesterday.

'With the global recession, we expect to see some retrenched workers whose companies have folded,' he said. These workers may not get any retrenchment benefit or the sum could be too low to tide them over in the short term, he added.
NTUC should help them. In Singapore, retrenched workers are particularly vulnerable. That's because Singapore is literally the easiest place in the world to pay a worker peanuts; make him work overtime; and then sack him without compensation.

Am I exaggerating? Engaging in hyperbole? Unfortunately not. My statement is proven, among other things, by a detailed international study done in 2007, covering more than 150 countries around the world.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone farming?

If I had known I would have bought a landed so I could grow vegetables & rear some chickens.

How now?

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic but it's about NTUC.

I noticed that halal chicken sold there is cheaper than non-halal ones. Is there any reason why this is so? Isn't that discrimination against non-Muslims?

If not, why don't they sell halal chicken only to make it cheaper and more available for everyone?

Ape said...

I'm not so sure about Singapore being the "easiest place in the world to pay a worker peanuts; make him work overtime; and then sack him without compensation." but Singapore is definitely a place where a retrenched cannot move to another part of the country where cost of living is lower to tide him over the difficult time.

Onlooker said...

The problem is we do not have a REAL union that represent the worker's interest in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

On help.

They help you by not helping you.
Helping you may not actually help you.
Hence, the best help is to provide no help.

Woe behold! The inhumanity of the educated mind........

蝴蝶思语 said...

Informative article, especially the reference to the international study as it heightened my awareness. I glanced through the study and not surprisingly Singapore's Financial Freedom rating is dismal compared to Hong Kong (50 vs. 90).

Anonymous said...

You are right! Singapore is the probably the best place in the world to overwork and underpay a worker.

I am a white-collared worker, and thus, not protected by a union. The labour law thinks I am strong enough to negotiate my own labour contract. But the truth is, should my boss decide tmrw to cut my pay by 50%, tell me to take it or leave it, I feel helpless. I would have no real recourse to fight this drastic pay cut.

I am scared, cuz I know that there are no labour laws to protect me from being exploited by the management.

Ah Pat said...

Will they help retrenched professionals too? Sigh...

Anonymous said...

"Isn't that discrimination against non-Muslims?"

You have to be kidding, right?

On second thought, perhaps you aren't, since you must be Chinese and therefore humourless.

yamizi said...

Seriously, what can we commoners do if we receive no help from the elites?

Anonymous said...

The best places Not to be retrenched would be France. Its very hard to retrench a person be it blue or white collar workers. For retrenchment to take place, its a red tape process where some Labour Tribunal staff has to come to audit the company after announcing its retrenchment measures. Its a very laborious process.

Don't we envy the French on top of their 5 weeks paid holidays & free healthcare system?

Anonymous said...

My colleague from china told me, if they are to be retrenched here, "...... 我就回中国 .......". I was wondering where can i go ..... Lim Chu Kang maybe .....??

Anonymous said...

I unintentionally saw the Strait Times news headlines few days back (becos the ST is just pap brainwashing bullshit):

Lim Swee Say said: tackling the recession is like playing soccer game. to him, everything is a game.

I hope he says that to the retrenched. thiswarped mind is unpprepared to help the underdogs.

Anonymous said...

"You have to be kidding, right?

On second thought, perhaps you aren't, since you must be Chinese and therefore humourless."

Good try, but no, I am not going to be provoked by your attempt to digress with ridicule. Laugh and poke fun to your heart's content like a madman for all I care.

And no, I am not kidding. Whoever in charge of NTUC Fairprice's pricing policies should explain why it is $8.50 for halal chicken and $8.80 for non-halal ones.

Anonymous said...

To Yamizi at March 4, 2009 8:53 AM

It is time for a change in Singapore ! And this should start at the top where our gahmen are getting million dollar salaries for the poor performance and losing billions dollars of our reserves !

Xtrocious said...

This is off-topic but it's about NTUC.

Someone said:

I noticed that halal chicken sold there is cheaper than non-halal ones. Is there any reason why this is so? Isn't that discrimination against non-Muslims?

If not, why don't they sell halal chicken only to make it cheaper and more available for everyone?

March 3, 2009 7:53 PM

---------------------------

I seriously don't understand this bloke...

Halal means both Muslims and non-Muslims can consume...

Non-Halal means Muslims cannot consume...

So a cheaper Halal chicken is good for everyone no?

Or this guy is not happy his non-halal chicken is not the same price as halal chicken?

His logic defies me seriously...sigh

Alan Wong said...

IMHO, he is just crying wolf in a sheep's skin.

If he is really sincere in helping the retrenched people in Singapore, he should be bold enough to take the first step in revamping our Employment Act instead of making use of the NTUC to make some political statements about offering help to those in need.

As it stands, our Singapore Employment Act is very bias towards employers while offering very little protection (even it there is any) to employees. If one were to study our Employment Act in detail as to which category of employees are protected, one will find that it is almost like an insurance policy with so many conditions and exclusions that at the end of it, almost everyone are excluded. Even for those who are supposedly protected under the Act, they are subject to further conditions before they can really qualify to recover any retrenchment benefits or compensation as provided under the Employment Act.

And for those who do not qualify, they will just provide you with a shameless response something to the tune of "We are unable to assist you as you are not covered under the purview of the Employement Act, therefore kindly refer to your contract terms and conditions or to your organised union for further assistance".

To me, all these offer of assistance is really a hypocrisy at its very best.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Whoever in charge of NTUC Fairprice's pricing policies should explain why it is $8.50 for halal chicken and $8.80 for non-halal ones."

It may simply be that the suppliers of halal chicken charge a lower price than the suppliers of non-halal chicken.

Why they charge a lower price could be for any number of different reasons. Eg they charge lower so that more people will be interested to buy halal chicken.

Anonymous said...

People need Halal chicken for religious reasons.

Maybe this person cannot eat halal chicken for religious reasons also.

Anonymous said...

"Good try, but no, I am not going to be provoked by your attempt to digress with ridicule. Laugh and poke fun to your heart's content like a madman for all I care."

Let's get one thing straight. If anything, Singaporean Malays, and all non-Chinese Singaporeans for that matter, have bigger issues over which to feel aggrieved: how would you feel if you were told that your son or daughter had little chance of being Prime Minister of the country of their birth because of the colour of their skin?

And to think you raise a stink over 30 cents. Shame on you. And you know what? I shall do as you say and ridicule you further: did you steal the halal chicken which your Muslim countrymen had more need than you?

Anonymous said...

"So a cheaper Halal chicken is good for everyone no?"

Precisely lor, so why not make all chicken halal?

This logic you don't understand?

Mr Wang Says So said...

It probably has something to do with non-Muslim chicken farmers being unfamiliar or unqualified to do dhabiha slaughter of chickens, or not finding it worth their while to adjust their processes to carry it out.

Anonymous said...

why are we talking about chickens when the issue is about monkeys and peanuts??

Anonymous said...

abt the halal chicken, perhaps the 'halal' chicken supplier could afford to sell their chicken cheaper to ntuc? i supppose the halal and non-halal chicken are not supposed to come from the same supplier.

and anyway, discrimination is usually done onto the minority, not the majority.

btw, no one is gg to stop you from buying the cheaper chicken. go ahead, save ur 30cents.

Anonymous said...

there are some religions where its followers are not supposed to eat halal food. I have friends who are of this faith.

so all halal-chicken, may not be feasible.

Anonymous said...

To the government:

please do not help those retrenched people who used to violently object to "state welfare" and "crutch mentality". These people used to call other retrenched people words like stupid and lazy.

Anonymous said...

"Lim Swee Say said: tackling the recession is like playing soccer game. to him, everything is a game."

Mr. Lim has a iron rice bowl, he still get millions of dollars for his salary plus bonus recession or no recession ! So how can he understand the common man in the street, he has no worries, everthing thing else is only a game to him !

And guess who voted him in ? So please make a wise choice at the next election !

Anonymous said...

"and anyway, discrimination is usually done onto the minority, not the majority"

Lol!

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discrimination

dis⋅crim⋅i⋅na⋅tion
   /dɪˌskrɪməˈneɪʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [di-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA
–noun
1. an act or instance of discriminating.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

I have seen Muslim HODs discriminating against non-Malay teachers. Oh, but that is not discrimination. Favoritism perhaps?

Lol!

Anonymous said...

"go ahead, save ur 30cents"

I hope you will have the guts to tell this to a frail elderly standing by the chiller, staring long and hard, counting every penny trying to decide whether or not to buy that pack of chicken.

They are more desperate and needy than the retrenched.

Anonymous said...

"That's because Singapore is literally the easiest place in the world to pay a worker peanuts; make him work overtime; and then sack him without compensation."

Sadly I see this to be true.
Many workers who get retrenched, are given their notices, a plane ticket and a piece of paper sayinng that they are now on a visa, of a duration of one day!
They may or may not receive their full pay for that last month.