SINGAPORE: After a local Reddit user asked for the things people wished to normalise in Singapore, a commenter who called for a greater degree of respect to be shown toward blue-collar workers struck a chord with many.

u/watchuwannaknow posted the question in an Ask Singapore Reddit thread on Wednesday night (Mar 13). By far the most popular answer has come from a commenter who wrote that they wish that “Singaporeans generally do not look down on blue-collar workers such as garbage collectors, cleaners, construction workers, plumbers, carpenters, brick layers,” and so on.

Moreover, they added that they also wish these workers would “get the amount of salary and respect they truly deserve in a first world country.”

They further opined that Singapore’s society tends to overvalue white-collar workers while underestimating how important blue-collar positions are to the country’s economy.

“Only when such mindset changes, can the quality and standard rise in these industries. Else, we are just importing cheap foreign labour which may not necessarily have the high standards we expect,” they added.

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His comment has so far gotten over 870 upvotes, with other users on the platform weighing in and voicing their agreement.

The Reddit user who had posted the thread wrote, “That’s true, fundamental jobs are very important. I think in SG white-collar employees have over supply, are over emphasized and overpaid also, with so low productivity.”

Another commenter wrote that there are many similarities between Singapore and Washington, DC, the capital of the United States as well as the seat of political power. He explained that in Singapore, the first question that people ask is “What do you do?” and in DC, “it’s all about what you do in a city of techno and bureaucrats.”

One Redditor wrote, “They will, once existing tradesmen will cease to exist, they will beg for tradesmen to train themselves. Gonna be top dollar job in 10 years.”

To this, another answered, “This has happened in Australia. So much so they have brought back trade schools and huge incentives for employers to take on apprentices.”

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Last year, a TODAY Youth Survey found that nearly eight out of 10 young people believe that there’s a significant wage gap between blue-collar and white-collar workers.

Moreover, 71 per cent of the youths who participated in the survey said blue-collar workers deserve to be paid higher wages than the salaries they have now.

Other commenters on the thread answered along the same lines, saying that they would like to see “Labour protection” and “Strong unions who affect government policy” normalised. /TISG