NTUC boosts efforts to help low-wage Muslim workers

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli (right) and Dr Yaacob (third from right) breaking fast with U Care members at Al-Ansar Mosque yesterday.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli (right) and Dr Yaacob (third from right) breaking fast with U Care members at Al-Ansar Mosque yesterday.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), through its U Care Centre, hopes to be able to provide 12,000 low-wage Malay/Muslim workers with guidance on work-related issues this year, up from 11,000 last year.

This was announced at a fast-breaking session held by U Care for 50 of its members at Al-Ansar Mosque in Bedok last night.

Since the start of the year, the centre has reached out to 7,500 Malay/Muslim workers by partnering with organisations such as Jamiyah to hold workshops on skills training and basic employment rights.

"We leverage on these organisations' outreach programmes to reach out to workers," said NTUC assistant secretary-general Zainal Sapari.

He said the centre also worked with mosques to inform congregants about its programmes.

"Our aim with all these initiatives is to inform and educate more workers in the Malay-Muslim community about the various platforms and opportunities available to improve lives for their families and themselves," said Mr Zainal, who is also a Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris -Punggol GRC.

Madam Rohana Atan Chik, 50, had been out of work for 10 years because of health problems when she found out about U Care Centre through Al-Ansar Mosque.

The centre arranged for her to attend a job fair, where she had several job interviews.

Madam Rohana now works part-time as a food stall assistant.

"I'm very grateful for the chance to work again," she said, adding that consultants from U Care Centre call her regularly to check on her and encourage her.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who was at last night's event, said: "This is a wonderful effort by NTUC to widen its reach and help more Malay/Muslim families get the training and skills sets they need."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2016, with the headline 'NTUC boosts efforts to help low-wage Muslim workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe