SINGAPORE: Workers Party Members of Parliament Jamus Lim (Sengkang GRC) and Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) attended a Labour Day rally at the Hong Lim Park Speakers’ Corner, organized by Workers Make Possible.

The event was aimed at shining a slotlight on workers’ fight for their safety, their health, their families and their futures, according to the group.

Assoc Prof Lim took to Facebook today (2 May) and compared the rally at Hong Lim Park with the larger one organized by the National Trades Union Congress where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his final May Day speech.

Referring to the May Day rally, he opined: “Despite its size, I felt that the rally was incomplete. It is important to listen to perspectives from all sides, and that includes the voices of workers—community healthcare professionals, delivery riders, and F&B servers—who may feel marginalized by the current system.

“Only by gaining a holistic view of the labor market here are we able to truly say that it is working for all Singaporeans, not just a segment (even if it is a majority segment),” wrote the Sengkang MP.

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He posted a photo of himself with Mr Giam while wearing a yellow safety vest, noting that the theme of the Hong Lim Park rally was safety. 

Assoc Prof Lim surmised that the vests had been handed out “perhaps taking inspiration from the gilets jaunes movement,” a populist and grassroots movement that started in France in 2018 in response to high living costs and rising oil and fuel prices.

“While the use of the vests was meant to symbolize the ubiquity of the working class in France, I felt that the focus here on improving our social safety net was more appropriate, given how many gaps still exist,” added the MP.

He also noted how the WP has “championed commonsense policies along these lines,” which includes a  workers’ redundancy insurance scheme, which party chief and Leader of the Opposition once again touched on in his May Day Message this year.

The WP has also called for a minimum wage as well as retirement adequacy through higher CPF rates.

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“There has been some movement on these fronts in recent years, but we will continue to push for sustained reforms along these lines,” he wrote. /TISG

Read also: Workers’ Party May Day Statement: Change is on the horizon