Low-wage workers

Helping low-wage workers in Singapore: What more can be done?

Cleaner Sucila Rajoo, whose basic monthly salary was $600 when she started work 18 years ago, now earns $1,300, plus an incentive of $100 a month for good attendance and performance. The mother of three has much more financial freedom and can even se
Cleaner Sucila Rajoo, whose basic monthly salary was $600 when she started work 18 years ago, now earns $1,300, plus an incentive of $100 a month for good attendance and performance. The mother of three has much more financial freedom and can even set aside money for short trips to places like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, thanks to measures that have been introduced to significantly boost wages of workers like her.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Cleaning Express chief executive Abdul Aziz Yusof (left photo, right) says while he tries to maintain his workers' salaries at a higher level, it can be tough when competitors bid for contracts at lower prices. Prosegur Singapore director Robert Wien
Cleaning Express chief executive Abdul Aziz Yusof (right) says while he tries to maintain his workers' salaries at a higher level, it can be tough when competitors bid for contracts at lower prices. Prosegur Singapore director Robert Wiener suggests having contracts of at least three to five years.PHOTOS: ST FILE, NTUC
Cleaner Sucila Rajoo, whose basic monthly salary was $600 when she started work 18 years ago, now earns $1,300, plus an incentive of $100 a month for good attendance and performance. The mother of three has much more financial freedom and can even se
Cleaning Express chief executive Abdul Aziz Yusof says while he tries to maintain his workers' salaries at a higher level, it can be tough when competitors bid for contracts at lower prices. Prosegur Singapore director Robert Wiener (above) suggests having contracts of at least three to five years. PHOTOS: ST FILE, NTUC

Measures like the Progressive Wage Model have lifted the incomes of low-wage workers over the past decade. But unionists and others say more can be done to improve the lot of this group. Yasmine Yahya and Hariz Baharudin weigh the pros and cons.

Eighteen years ago, cleaner Sucila Rajoo started work with a basic monthly salary of $600.

Over the years, her salary rose at a snail's pace, making it hard for the mother of three to make ends meet.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 24, 2018, with the headline 'Helping low-wage workers: What more can be done?'. Print Edition | Subscribe