SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong was on Monday (May 22) awarded the Medal of Honour, the top accolade at the annual May Day Awards organised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
The Medal of Honour is conferred on special individuals who have rendered distinguished services to the labour movement.
NTUC said that Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, has shown strong support for the efforts of NTUC and its unions. He also made “key decisions” that protected workers and their livelihoods.
These include setting aside S$100 million (US$74.4m) for NTUC to partner firms in setting up training committees and introducing the Jobs-Skills Integrator initiative to improve training and job matching for workers.
Mr Wong has also been advocating for better employment and wage conditions, especially for low-income and disadvantaged workers, said NTUC, citing the roll-out of the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme as an example.
The Workfare Income Supplement scheme was significantly enhanced, such as allowing younger workers to be eligible for payouts, while the extension of the Jobs Growth Incentive Scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic helped to encourage employers to hire Singaporeans, the labour movement added.
Besides these initiatives to improve the lives of workers, Mr Wong also worked closely with NTUC and its affiliated unions as their union advisor.
“He has been a strong advocate and supporter of workers and the tripartism model in Singapore, and continues to prioritise workers’ concerns as he leads the fourth-generation team in a challenging post-pandemic environment,” said NTUC president Mary Liew.