LABOUR Day is the day we honour the hardworking men and women who provide for our families and power the wheels of our economy. Singapore has one of the most competitive and skilled workforces in the world. The progress of our economy and our nation has been built on the backs of our workers, and our nation owes them a debt of gratitude.
Even as we celebrate the progress made by many of our workers, one group of workers who are of particular concern to us are our mature workers. Close to two-thirds of resident workers made redundant in 2013 were aged 40 and above, and this group is less likely than younger workers to re-enter employment after being made redundant. Less than half of the workers aged 40 and above re-entered employment within 6 months of redundancy in 2013. Many have lamented about being replaced by younger workers, including foreigners earning lower salaries.
Our Party has stated before that employers should give priority to hiring Singaporeans, and foreign workers should be employed only in positions that Singaporeans are unable to fill. The Fair Consideration Framework, which is expected to go into effect later this year, must work for the benefit of Singaporeans, including mature Singaporean workers.
Mature workers deliver tremendous value to our workplaces. Employers have reported that mature workers bring greater experience, higher levels of loyalty and commitment, and a stronger work ethic to the organisations they work for. We urge all employers to appreciate these positive attributes in mature workers, especially when considering them for employment and re-employment.
The Workers’ Party wishes all our workers a very happy Labour Day.
GERALD GIAM (严燕松)
Non-constituency MP and Chair, Media Team
The Workers’ Party