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NTUC to increase wages of cleaners ‘progressively’

Posted by temasektimes on June 22, 2012

With public disgruntlement growing among Singaporeans at stagnant wages in the lower-income group, Singapore’s only legal trade union NTUC is set to increase the wages of cleaners ‘progressively’.

Instead of the usual ‘cheaper, better and faster’, NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say rolled out his concept of ‘progressive wages’ during a cleaning industry forum yesterday.

Under the concept, NTUC will set specific targets to lift wages of cleaners to S$1,000, S$1,200 and S$1,500 or more.

“Our philosophy, our belief is that every job can be improved in terms of skills, in terms of productivity, in terms of outcomes, in terms of wages,” Mr Lim said.

He added that the progressive wage system will operate under the existing Inclusive Growth Programme and Best Sourcing Initiative and believed the progressive wage approach is a pragmatic one and would be better than implementing a minimum wage policy.

“If we set too low the minimum wage it will not solve the problems faced by the low wage workers. If we impose too high the minimum wage then some of the low wage workers may become unemployable,” Mr Lim said.

Under the unique Singapore system, Mr Lim is also a cabinet minister who is paid more than $1 million dollars a year.


19 Responses to “NTUC to increase wages of cleaners ‘progressively’”

  1. Mike Zeng said

    Too little to late from our millionaire Minister aka Zorro Lim S Sway.

    • CKMPD said

      Hi Mike,

      Agree with you. The pap has severely mismanaged Singapore, allowing rents, profits, dividends to rise but has disallowed pay increase to the poor by importing cheap foreign labour into SG.

      Now the pap realises its folly but is taking small incremental steps to right a gross wrong. This small increment is indeed too little and too late.

    • mahbok tan said

      I do agree with you .
      Why than our minister do not want to follow other countries in capping their salary?
      Their excuse of not wanting to be corrupt have been proven by their own people ….!!!

  2. Piratetoon said

    Now he try to sell different Medicine no more Cheaper , Faster , Better
    All this year HE shortchange all these workers since the word OUTSOURCING started.

    • poor Singaporean said

      Exactly. Outsourcing was a ploy to help employers lower the wages of ordinary Singaporeans and remove their benefits. It is next to impossible to increase the salaries of low wage Singaporeans with companies choosing the lowest tender all the time.

    • Angry Bird said

      This idiot has betrayed all workers. High time to kick him out !

  3. Corrine said

    This just seems like all talk and no action.

    Honestly, how can they increase the wages of low wage workers.

    The majority of low wage workers are employed on contract basis.

    Their employers will usually tender very low to win projects.

    The low wage workers will probably only see their salaries stagnate or shrink.

  4. WHAT THE HACK said


    • Mike Zeng said

      U mean CLOWN minister? Agree 100% LSS is a clown who loves to make a fool of himself…..from the day I saw him dressed like Zorro, cape and mask and all. We pay him $2m a year to indulge in his childhood fantasies in public? Either he’s the fool or we are in voting him in.
      What an idiot! What idiots! I mean the 60% PAP voters….

  5. MoneyNoEnough said

    Before the end of 3 years, inflation would have caught up with the progressive wage increase. Should shorten it to 2 years or less. When ministers give themselves pay increase in terms of million-dollar salaries, it was not progressive and they did not have to wait 3 years. It was instant salary increment. What the heck is seasonal durian seller Lim Swee Say talking about??

  6. singaporeboy said

    increasing cpf contributions, progressive increase of salary etc. are costs incurred by the employers not the govt per se. we should probably give credit to the employers as well for their contribution.

  7. Victor said


    Worst still … talk cock only….

  8. Lollapalooza In SG said

    Frankly, by increasing the wages of cleaners means increasing the operating costs of cleaning companies and to maintain the same level of operating profit, these companies will have an excuse to increase their cleaning fees so who will bear these wage increase? At the end, it will still be end users like you and me who’ll bear the wage increase and this will further push up the cost of living (it’s a vicious cycle). So this little increase in cleaner wages will not help much if cost of living is to increase as well. What I think is the govt should give salary grants to these companies who employed low wage workers earning <$1,100, they've done something like this before few years back during the economy crisis to help companies survive through the crisis, so they can do the same again to top-up the salaries of those whose salary are below $1,000? These monthly salary grants given to companies will be paid out to the workers maybe as wage supplements which do not form part of salary and companies who want to apply for such grants have to provide proof of employing workers earning <$1,000? They can also set a criteria that only Singaporean workers are eligible for such grants. This way, cleaning companies do not have to bear the cost and hence won't increase cleaning fees which will result in a further increase in the cost of living and we can also encourage these companies to employ and retain Singapore workers. Otherwise, we will all be paying to increase FTs' salary (since it is known that such jobs are mostly held by FTs demanding a lower salary?) which I believe is not the objective of this policy.

  9. George said

    What about our over worked security officers ?

  10. Mr. Lim Swee Say,

    You are the most disappointing figure in this present government, you are suppose to be working for our people.

    Stop trying to wiggle your way out of minimum wage if you really care for your people.
    Now, why would you want to set the minimum wage too low or too high?
    Why can’t you set it to a “FAIR” level? Why must it be low or high?
    What’s wrong with you?

    Also, you are like the employers who are working on a “Zero” sum game.

    The present bench mark for workers “IS” already too low to start with.
    The employer have been “bottom feeding” with the worker salaries for decades.
    And the worst thing is that you know this is happening.

    You need to bring up the workers salaries in par with our present cost of living and inflation rates first
    before talking about pegging salaries to productivity.

    If this is not possible, you are to be blame for allowing this to happen in the first place.

    Now, from this situation, it is proven that the “Tripartite” system never did worked for the workers.
    It has always been between the government and employers.

    To make tripartite work it actually needs to be truly tripartite. Not just on paper.
    Meaning, the workers need to be represented by the Unions itself and not the government.
    A labour chief needs to be elected by the Unions and work “WITH” the employers and the government.
    Not work “FROM” the government stand point.

    ACT RIGHT!!!!!

    • Angry Bird said

      This useless Minister and union Chief is totally rotten to the core! Don’t have to talk too much, vote him out!

  11. kaypoh said

    Hmmm,better idea : Lim Sia Suay donate whole year salary to be divided amongst all cleaners… :))

  12. kaypoh said

    Darth Vader say : “Come, join the Dark Side, we give u wage increment & lift upgrading….together we shall attack that rebel stronghold on planet Hougang!”

    (PS – notice the menacing stormtroopers are dressed in WHITE, dun playplay!)

  13. spotlessleopard said

    The Labour Union DOES NOT REPRESENT THE INTEREST OF LABOUR… represents the pOLITICIANS’ and Employers Interest …PERIOD.

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