(TL;DR) 5 points for you to look smart in front of your friends.
1) Who is Zainal Bin Sapari?
• Assistant Secretary-General of National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and Director of NTUC Care and Share Department which helps low-wage workers, and casual and contract workers.
• MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC
• Married with SIX (!!!) children
2) What makes him tick?
The future of low-wage workers with focus on the Progressive Wage Model which he had lobbied for and implemented in the cleaning and security sectors, with the other sectors in the coming years. In fact, he refers to the low-wage workers as his real champions.
3) So what does he think about low-wage workers in Singapore?
Employers out there view NWC’s recommendations as merely guidelines. Therefore, I strongly call for legislation on some sections of the recommendations. The dollar quantum wage increments should be made mandatory for employees in the 20th and 30th percentile, in terms of basic salary.
The Government can play a greater role in encouraging their service providers with many low-wage workers to give Annual Increments (AI) and Annual Wage Supplement (AWS). Government procurement officers can be more worker-centric by being more proactive to look into the welfare accorded to the outsourced workers by their potential service providers.
Read all that he’s advocating here!
4) What did he wear for Parliament?
8.5/10 – I think it’s the combination of the facial hair and suit but he looks pretty dapper.
5) What is his outlook for Singapore’s economy in 2016?
The fiscal outlook for this year and next in his words, “points to a not-so-rosy climate.” There is going to be a tight labour market and slowing workforce growth, coupled with structural unemployment and shortage of skilled labour.
More crucially, in weathering these, there will be a widening income gap that affects our workers in the lowest percentile of the economic pie and he calls for more affirmative action to help lower-wage workers cushion the oncoming impact.
(BONUS!) Bet you didn’t know this about him:
He’s a bike enthusist and dreams of owning a Harley Davidson!
Join Zainal Bin Sapari on Facebook here!