THE WORKERS’ PARTY LABOUR DAY MESSAGE: 1 MAY 2020
Today is a Labour Day like no other. Singapore continues to battle a disease pandemic and what might be our nation’s worst economic contraction since independence.
On this Labour Day, our thoughts, prayers and support go first and foremost to our healthcare and frontline workers. The country owes all of you a debt we can never repay.
Today, we must also remember our non-essential workers and self-employed workers. Many of you would be struggling with earning a steady income and getting your work done in spite of the Circuit Breaker measures. Not everyone can easily work from home.
The Workers’ Party believes that all Singaporeans should work together as one united people to beat COVID-19.
But one united people should also mean a people who, even in crisis, speak up for what is best for the country and offer constructive suggestions and rational debate so that we can become better. In this spirit, we recently organised a COVID-19 video-conference panel discussion with Singaporeans who are experts and specialists in their respective fields. Workers’ Party MPs will continue to speak up rationally in Parliament to offer suggestions on our nation’s COVID-19 response, as well as our policies in a post-COVID world.
The challenges we face are not limited to beating COVID-19. Even before the virus hit us, last year’s GDP growth was a weak 0.7%. We will face headwinds from Industry 4.0 disruptions and geopolitical tensions, including disruptions to global supply chains. As we fight this disease, let us at the same time prepare for a better post-COVID future by ensuring that the environment for our workers is:
- FLEXIBLE enough for workers to thrive as industries get disrupted at record speeds. To this end, we had called for a Redundancy Insurance scheme to help workers bounce back, and rules that earn better returns for CPF balances, while allowing a portion of the CPF above the Minimum Sum to be withdrawn as emergency funds;
- FAIR enough, so that workers know they will not face disadvantages due to gender, race or for being Singaporean; where the resale values of HDB flats will be reasonably supported to protect those who depend on their flats for retirement; and
- FUTURE-READY enough, providing support to entrepreneurs who create jobs at home while investing in our people and our home-grown companies through training and incentives, so that they are not overly burdened by the cost of living but feel confident enough to seize opportunities, take risks and innovate.
Last but not least, we should remember the responsibility we all owe to our foreign worker community, to provide them with decent, dignified conditions. Not only today but every day.
On this Labour Day, the Workers’ Party wishes that all in Singapore stay safe and keep well.