My fellow dear Singaporeans,
We are gathering again on 1st May this year to celebrate our third labour day protest together as ONE voice.
Much has happened during this period – Lee Kuan Yew has passed on, there was a small cabinet reshuffle, teen actor Amos Yee was arrested for his rant on Youtube on LKY and two men who were protesting at Istana were also arrested.
Transport cost has risened by 2.8% recently and university fee has also gone up.
The Tamil community is also unhappy with the recent Thaipusam arrest and our intention to hold a protest event on 14 February was rejected by the police.
On the job front, foreign workers’ influx continued its ascent without showing any sign of abating and local PMETs were hit hard by unemployment on all levels.
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin’s retaliation that having more foreign workers do not mean we have less jobs for our local PMETs do not go down well with the many jobless PMETs we saw.
Moreover, the promise by our Prime Minister in his I-am-sorry speech during the 2011 General Election to look into the foreign worker issue went very quiet after he won the election.
We continued to see many jobless PMETs in our office but one worrying sign seems glaring – the jobless PMETs we saw are getting younger.
A Indian PMET wrote in one month ago saying that he could not land a job after searching for more than 6 months in both the private and public sector. He is only 33 years old, has a masters degree and feeling desperate but feels fortunate that he is single as he only needs to take care of his own needs.
Another Indian PMET also wrote in two weeks ago stating that he is being replaced by a foreign worker after working for only a month. He works as a manager in a bar owned by a Indian investor who later hires a Korean to replace him. He just returned home after working in Vietnam for 2 1/2 years but is beginning to regret this decision.
He is paid $2800 but to reduce cost, the boss from India hires a foreign worker and of course pay him much lesser.
The Singaporean is only 32 years old and just receive keys to his BTO flat. He is also getting married in August but is worried if he could gather enough money for the big day.
Fortunately, a employer from LC Foodcourt spotted his duress and they invited for an interview earlier today for the position of manager. The company will decide his appointment on 23 April.
A 40-year-old accountant, married with two young kids, also wrote in to us stating that he is jobless for more than 6 months and have never seen the job market so bad with very few interviews despite sending out many job applications. He says that he has sufficient savings to tie him through but looks worried for the future.
He told me he is looking at a six-figure salary position when I met up with him but doesn’t sound confident he will get one very soon.
Another jobless single of 40 years ago has a master in economics but job search for close to a year without any avail. We met up at Hans NLB last week and chatted for about 90 minutes.
We also saw a 29-year-old lady graduate PMET two days ago in our office who is job searching for close to 8 months but is unsure how long her journey will take as jobs seem to be getting scarce nowadays.
Just today, we saw a 35-year-old married man with a SIM degree who is jobless for close to three months after been retrenched from a SME.
He has a 2-month-old baby boy and feeling desperate as he receives zero interview even though he applies for a few hundred jobs. His previous salary was $4000.
He works as a technical sales executive all along and is willing to change field but need coaching advice on what to do next.
Most of these real-life stories are posted on our website.
Throughout the recent sessions we have with our local PMETs, we sense desperation, helplessness but most of all hopelessness as the job market is being ravaged by unfair practices that allow employers to hire foreigners easily at the expense of local Singaporeans.
The employment practices here need to be further tightened so that employers will need to hire Singaporeans first before considering foreigners.
We also want minimum wage legislation to be set up so our workers have a decent income to get by.
We urge the government to listen closely to the voices of the people especially in this crucial election year.
Many will not hesitate to vote against the government if our voices are left unheard especially on bread and butter issues.
We urge Singaporeans to come together this labour day and speak as ONE voice against the many unfair labour practices that discriminate against our own.
We are targetting a turn-out of at least a thousand die-hard Singaporeans and will invite relevant speakers for this event.
If you also want to speak at our event, please email us at [email protected]
During this labour day, don’t stay at home, let your voice be heard.
Be brave as now we can only help ourselves.
Singaporeans helping Singaporeans.
Note: We have just obtained our speakers’ corner permit.
Source: Gilbert Goh