History of labour movement on display

Vintage badges from the various unions that existed in Singapore during the post-war years.
From left: NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng, former union leader and former NTUC vice-president Tan Soon Yam, Singapore National Employers Federation president Robert Yap (behind Ms Mary Liew), NTUC president Mary Liew, President Halimah Yacob, NTUC deputy secretary-general Koh Poh Koon (who is also Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry), and Mr Kevin Tan, content curator for the ReUnion exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Left: Replicas of pamphlets about the modernisation seminar that NTUC published in February 1970. Left below: NTUC FairPrice membership cards over the years. The first card bears the NTUC Welcome logo. That was the original name of the cooperative, s
A pair of watches that belonged to founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs Lee, who were presented with them by the Singapore Union of Postal and Telecommunications Workers. Mr Lee had successfully represented the union in an arbitration case over a wage dispute in 1953, resulting in nearly 1,000 clerks receiving 28 months' back pay. He had started representing a large number of unions from 1952 for a nominal fee. The watches had been in separate collections and are on display together for the first time.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
From left: NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng, former union leader and former NTUC vice-president Tan Soon Yam, Singapore National Employers Federation president Robert Yap (behind Ms Mary Liew), NTUC president Mary Liew, President Halimah Yacob, NT
Vintage badges from the various unions that existed in Singapore during the post-war years. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
A pair of watches that belonged to founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs Lee, who were presented with them by the Singapore Union of Postal and Telecommunications Workers. Mr Lee had successfully represented the union in an arbitration case ov
Above: Replicas of pamphlets about the modernisation seminar that NTUC published in February 1970. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Vintage badges from the various unions that existed in Singapore during the post-war years.
Above: NTUC FairPrice membership cards over the years. The first card bears the NTUC Welcome logo. That was the original name of the cooperative, set up in 1973. The idea to set up co-ops was conceived at the seminar.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The ReUnion exhibition at the Glass Atrium of the National Museum of Singapore runs until Nov 10. Admission is free.

The exhibition, presented by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), covers the history of the labour movement from the 1940s onwards and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Trade Union Seminar on "Modernisation of the Labour Movement".

Here are some of the artefacts on display at the exhibition, which was opened by President Halimah Yacob yesterday.

A digital exhibition can also be viewed at ms50.ntuc.org.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2019, with the headline 'History of labour movement on display'. Print Edition | Subscribe