Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Just So Scary

Now we know why NTUC Secretary General and Minister Lim Swee Say is so set against the idea of a minimum wage - he's afraid of getting it wrong.

Lim claims that a minimum wage is hard to implement effectively and failure to do so will trigger negative effects on workers and bosses alike. Maybe he should swallow his own "training and skills upgrading" mantra and go learn from the 90+ percent of International Labour Organisation (ILO) members who have successfully implemented minimum wage policies without the armageddon of job losses and business failures Lim likes to prophesy about. It's about time he walks his talk and start climbing the "skills ladder" he recommends for the bottom feeders.

ILO said a carefully articulated set of wide ranging policies is needed to secure minimum income for low-wage workers. But while the measures in Singapore reflect an implicit holistic approach to the issue, this does not mean there is no need for a minimum wage because it can help prevent abusive wage practices. Tommy Koh has pointed out that every advanced economy has a minimum wage, including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. SNEF may cite Denmark, Germany and Switzerland as examples with narrow income gaps without minimum wage guidelines, but these countries do not have exploitative wage practices. The average monthly salary of a bus driver in Germany is US$2,156 compared to US$571 in Taiwan (2005 figures, International Average Salary Income Database).

Imagine Goh Keng Swee backing out from his Jurong plans because neosayers were calling it "Goh's folly". Imagine Lim Chong Yah declining the task at the National Wage Council. Now imagine the many Singapore talents who can easily replace this kiasu, kiasi so-called labour union leader.


  1. Hey, million dollar salary and pension at stake. Of course kiasu, kiasi.

  2. This chief has 60 affiliated unions with more than 530,000 members.

    If his members are deaf and dumb,why do we care?
    If their leaders are deaf and dumb,they should sack their leaders!

  3. Anon 12:37
    Do you seriously think he is voted in as Union Chief the way they do as in US or UK.
    Besides, most members join because of shopping
    and services benefits rather than the conventional reasons of what joing a union should be

  4. Definitely not,but still they have leaders who represent them even nominally.

    If our own workers do not bother about their own and their fellow workers' welfare,then they deserve nothing.My own opinion is that our workers are too understanding!I do not think they are stupid as they are rated the top workers in the world.

  5. Our workers are like the proverbial FROG in a pot of gradually heating up water. When they realised that they have been played out, it would be too late. For those who are not like that, let this be a lesson. In this world, govt included if you keep quiet you will be stepped on, and given NO consideration or respect. You have to FIGHT for your rights or forever be trampled underfoot. If you are too trusting, like those who were wen LKY was PM, you will be taken for a ride, as you are now witnessing with your retirement benefits and security.

  6. Does Singapore have an union .. I always thought it was a supermarket