SINGAPORE - The National Trades Union Congress 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 on Saturday (May 1), 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, private sector corporations and individuals.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the needs of its members have increased but the ability of NTUC's donors to contribute has naturally declined, said Mr Ng.
The foundation will complement these efforts, providing a stable income stream that will enable NTUC to take care of the needs of its members, even in economically difficult years, he added.
The foundation will also better enable NTUC to diversify the type of support provided and respond to the changing needs of members through economic ups and downs, said NTUC in a statement.
"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 the foundation will give hope to NTUC's members through programmes that will have social resonance and impact.
"We hope that these causes will continue to attract like-minded volunteers and contributors to the NTUC Foundation," he added.
Reacting to the announcement after the rally, general secretary of ST Engineering Staff Union, Mr Sazali Zainal, said he hopes the foundation will ensure continued financial support for his union members' family expenses.
"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 schoolgoing kids," he added.