The next labour chief Ng Chee Meng brought up workers’ concerns during debates on the President’s Address.

He raised issues workers had about the rising cost of living and how their needs were not sufficiently met, despite working hard.

He also said that workers worry about not having enough money for housing, retirement savings, healthcare and education for their children.

Mr Ng outlined the labour movement’s approach to ease the tension when it comes to these issues.

He first raised this question: “If they lose their jobs unexpectedly before retirement, will they have enough savings? Can they be assured that if they work hard, saved and contributed to their CPF (Central Provident Fund) savings, their basic needs of housing, children’s education, healthcare and retirement will continue to be taken care of?”

The first approach Mr Ng raised was that, “We need employers to maintain a nimble mindset and workers to help themselves by upgrading their work skills. Both employees and employers must stay relevant in the evolving business environment”.

He added that this is the most effective solution as wages increase with productivity and real wage increases help workers cope with the cost of living.

Mr Ng also spoke about the labour movement’s role and agenda in future.

“The labour movement will push the transformation agenda by working even closer with the Government and businesses,” he said, pushing businesses to make use of technology to improve operations and productivity.

Mr Ng shared his speech on Facebook and netizens shared their thoughts and questions.