Since the 1960s, NTUC and its affiliated unions have started a tradition of being active in the international labour movement. This was reinforced in 1988 when NTUC started hosting the office of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions – Asia Pacific Regional Organisation, which is now known as the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP).
Today, the Singapore Labour Movement continues to play an active role on the global stage to advance and protect the interests of workers in the spirit of international solidarity.
NTUC In The International Labour Movement Scene
We value the opportunities to learn and share experiences with unions and working people in other countries through bilateral exchanges, participation in international and regional programmes and meetings. To date, our exposure has extended to:
- Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Japan, China, South Korea, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, USA and Peru.
What We Have Learnt
- Global Trade Unions Responses to Global Recession – overseas unions recognise what need to be done to help workers but many are hampered by the lack of support from their governments and employers.
- Best employment practices - for re-employment of older workers and work-life balance for working people.
- Tripartism– Singapore's successful tripartite relations is our unique strength in meeting challenges faced by our workers.
For the period 2008/2009, NTUC has played host to some 26 overseas delegations numbering over 400 visitors from various parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific and Africa. Visitors have had the opportunity to learn how the Singapore Labour Movement has contributed to Singapore’s success through our unique tripartism and our various programmes to help workers, especially our initiatives under the "Upturn the Downturn" initiative.
Addressing the Global Recession
While issues such as labour laws and social security reforms, and protection of workers remain key priorities for unions, our common key focus now is on saving and protecting jobs for workers, and learning from one another on the best responses.
Looking ahead, NTUC will focus on a "3E" global-centric framework by:
- Empoweringour union leaders to be more active participants in the international labour movement through structured global-centric training programmes.
- Enablinglearning and sharing opportunities for the Singapore Labour Movement by leveraging on value-added participation in regional and international conferences and meetings.
- Enhancingour network of friends in the international scene through active bilateral and technical assistance programmes.