May Day Rally to go online this year

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivering his keynote address at the May Day Rally on May 1, 2018. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The May Day Rally will be held virtually for the first time, in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his May Day speech on television and online, and not at a physical event. He will be delivering the May Day message on April 30 at 7.30pm, which will be simulcast across national television and streamed via social media channels, including the Facebook pages of the Prime Minister's Office and NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) Singapore.

Traditionally, more than 1,500 labour movement leaders and tripartite partners would gather at the May Day Rally event, affirming their commitment to advance the interests of workers.

This year, some 500 union leaders, employers and government leaders, among others, will take part in a closed-door virtual dialogue session helmed by NTUC president Mary Liew, NTUC secretary general Ng Chee Meng, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Singapore National Employers Federation president Robert Yap.

The annual May Day Awards will be cancelled, with alternative arrangements to be announced to honour this year's award recipients. The ceremony is traditionally held to honour individuals, companies and tripartite partners who have made significant contributions to better wages, welfare and work prospects.

Celebrations to appreciate the contributions of migrant workers and foreign domestic employees will also be moved online, while the May Day Fiesta event for union members and families will not be held.

NTUC assistant director-general Vivek Kumar, the organising chairman for May Day 2020, said: "While we will be celebrating May Day 2020 differently this year, I am heartened that the spirit of wanting to come together to serve our workers, and to show our solidarity as tripartite partners remains very strong. We stand in solidarity with our workers in these difficult times."

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