Updated: 11/22/2012 03:10

Labour Movement to target employment hubs in implementing its Progressive Wage Model

Labour Movement to target employment hubs in implementing its Progressive Wage Model

Next year, the Labour Movement will target employment hubs in implementing its Progressive Wage Model. 

These are places with large concentrations of workers from various levels and sectors. 

Some five months after introducing the model, which seeks to increase wages with skills-upgrading and higher productivity, the Labour Movement says more employers have come on board the plan. 

Changi Airport - a place where you'll find over 10,000 workers, from low-wage earners, to middle management. 

The Labour Movement considers this an employment hub, with a large pool of staff doing various tasks. 

It wants to move in with its Progressive Wage Model, to improve the lot of those who make the air hub among the best, globally. 

This is in addition to ongoing work within eight unionised clusters, covering sectors like retail and hospitality, to push forward the progressive wage agenda. 

Clusters like infocomm and media, aerospace and aviation, and financial and business services have not launched their Progressive Wage Model but are works-in-progress.

Labour Chief Lim Swee Say says a key focus is to sustain real wage increases for workers, especially low-wage earners. 

"The workers must adopt a new mindset, that for their wages to continue to go up, they must upgrade the skill, they must improve in their productivity. For businesses to continue to grow, they must be able to attract, retain and make better use of every worker." 

Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, Cham Hui Fong, says businesses should not have the mindset that certain jobs have a pre-determined dollar-value. 

"Every industry will face different set of challenges. But I think the understanding and the agreement that so far, we have actually sought with the management is that we must understand that) if you want to keep the right worker, if you want to make sure that you can make best use of them, then you have to look after them. I think to the workers interests, it's certainly my wages and my career progression." 

One thing to look out for in 2013 - getting more small and medium-sized enterprises on the progressive wage journey. 

A possible way is to tap on the Employment and Employability Institute to engage these enterprises, and share lessons from success stories. 

Within the unionised sectors, the Labour Movement estimates progressive wage can help about 100,000 workers, in the next two to three years. 

-By Dylan Loh

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