Membership Deals, Kacang Puteh and Ice-Cream

Photo by NTUC PME Unit


Keeping on with our work to empower more PMEs in Singapore by sharing important information about workplace rights and obligations, we recently held a roadshow in partnership with two NTUC-affiliated Unions at the URA Centre. Other than displaying key points about PME-related employment issues, we spiced things up by giving out servings of kacang puteh with questions about the information presented. PMEs who are able to answer those questions were able to redeem a refreshing ice-cream treat from us!

Joining us in meeting with PMEs were Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority Workers’ Union (SURAWU) and Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE).

What Union leader and staff thought of the roadshow…

The opportunity to do this is important to us as many PMEs still have the misconception that Union membership and the benefits that come along with it are only limited to blue-collar workers, which is untrue!  The landscape of Unions have changed along with changes in the profile of workers in Singapore. PMEs now make up more than 30% of the workforce. This makes it even more pertinent that we actively engage them and get them to join our cause. Roadshows in the Central Business District (CBD) area are extremely effective in allowing us to reach out to potential AUPE members, who are PMEs working in the area — we were excited to do this when the team from PME Unit approached us for it. We believe the roadshow is a great platform for us to provide knowledge about Union membership, and for PMEs to get to know AUPE a little more. We also met a few of our existing members, who came down to say hello during their lunch break!
 - Ravin, full-time staff at AUPE

We are extremely passionate about what we can provide to our members. We believe that PMEs will start to see the necessity of Union membership once they have knowledge about what the Union has done, and can do for PMEs in Singapore, which is what we hope to accomplish at this roadshow. Some PMEs may still be reluctant to sign up at first, but even if they do not sign up immediately, it’s good that they still learned more about what the Unions can do for them if and when they need our help.
- Mr Manogaaran, President of SURAWU

Other than speaking to the Unions, we also managed to speak to a few PMEs during their lunch break and got their opinions about the outreach activity. Most were already Union members, as they had signed up upon their employment with their current workplace through Union representatives.

On what they learned at the roadshow…

The roadshow was very informative, as it presented clearly and concisely on what Unions do for us. I learnt a lot about the Employment Act and Industrial Relations Act — something I hear about, but did not have much information on. Of course, I enjoyed the ice-cream as well!
- Miss Thong

I feel very heartened to know that there are people who are working hard to reach out to PMEs like myself — we often take their work for granted. As a PME, our concerns are very different from that of our parents’ generation, so it is great to see that our rights are being lobbied for and addressed.
- Mr Tan

The lighter side of things…

Other than the cheem things that were presented by Union representatives and the information displayed at the roadshow, I must say that for now, I have not had to seek help from the Unions. Although if — touchwood — anything happens, I know who I can look for. Aside from that, I am very happy that my Union fought for all of us to have birthday leave.
- Vincent

I have heard a lot about the Unions, and the benefits of Union membership from NTUC PME Unit’s Facebook page, but I have been procrastinating to join. At first, I was drawn here by the kacang puteh, but then I remembered that I should also take this opportunity to finally sign up for Union membership!
- Rebecca








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