Low-wage workers

Foundation set up to fund assistance grants

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has set up a foundation with an initial funding of $250 million which will be invested to fund financial assistance schemes and grants to support its members.

Announcing this in his May Day Rally speech yesterday, labour chief Ng Chee Meng said the NTUC Foundation, which was incorporated on Tuesday, will provide a steady stream of income for NTUC's financial assistance schemes and grants.

Currently, these schemes and grants are funded with the help of donors, including the Singapore Labour Foundation, NTUC Social Enterprises, affiliated unions, corporations and individuals.

Since the pandemic hit, the needs of its members has increased but the ability of NTUC's donors to contribute has declined, said Mr Ng.

The foundation will complement these efforts, providing a stable income stream that will enable NTUC to take care of its members' needs, even in economically difficult years, he added.

It will also enable NTUC to diversify the type of support provided and respond to members' changing needs through economic ups and downs, said NTUC.

"Efforts will be targeted at boosting the welfare, working conditions or social and economic status of our members, as well as providing members' children, especially those from lower-income families, a good start in life and a good education," it added.

Mr Ng said: "We hope that these causes will continue to attract like-minded volunteers and contributors to the NTUC Foundation."

Mr Sazali Zainal, general secretary of ST Engineering Staff Union, said he hopes the foundation will ensure continued financial support for his union members' families.

"There are workers in the lower-wage group and some in the middle-wage group who are looking every year for support to bring down the costs for them for their school-going kids," he added.

Charmaine Ng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 02, 2021, with the headline 'Foundation set up to fund assistance grants'. Subscribe