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May Day Rally 2024: The Labour Movement Unites to Celebrate Workers

NTUC also honoured Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his immense contributions to workers and the Labour Movement.
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By Kay del Rosario 24 Apr 2024
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The Labour Movement gathered in full force on 1 May 2024 for the annual May Day Rally at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.


Over 1,700 union leaders, tripartite partners and guests united to celebrate workers’ achievements and honour their invaluable contributions to Singapore.


This year’s event was graced by Guest-of-Honour Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who gave his final Rally speech as Singapore Prime Minister.


Click here for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech.



Themed “In Solidarity, We Take Action Because We Care”, the May Day Rally was hosted by NTUC President K Thanaletchimi, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng and NTUC Central Committee Members.


Mr Ng delivered the opening address.


Click here for Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng's speech.



Tributes to Mr Lee and welcoming the new Prime Minister


As a gesture of appreciation for Mr Lee, NTUC featured a special tribute video highlighting his journey and decades-long partnership with the Labour Movement.


It featured excerpts from his past May Day Rally speeches commending the symbiotic partnership between the Government and unions. There were also photographs capturing Mr Lee’s close interactions with union leaders and workers at various Labour Movement events.


Additionally, the video contained soundbites from unionists and others who have had personal experiences with Mr Lee, allowing them to reflect on his steadfast support for workers.



Ms Thanaletchimi and Mr Ng also presented Mr Lee with a commemorative book titled #EveryPrimeMinisterMatters: Our Salute to Brother Lee Hsien Loong.


At the sidelines of the Rally, Mr Ng said: “PM Lee has served in the public service for 40 years, and 20 of those as Prime Minister. Surely we will tap on his wisdom, his insights, and just the lifelong experience that he brings to the table. 


"We were all here at the May Day Rally. You saw how my union leaders, my workers, came up to him, at his farewell, essentially, you see how much respect, how much love ... As I said, I think no other country in the world would you have a union leader's daughter call the Prime Minister "Uncle". So a he’s a man of strategic leadership, and yet, [has] a heart for workers. We will definitely have our PM’s experience and  his care for workers, even if he’s no longer in cabinet in the future.”


Click here for the digital version of the book.


NTUC also extended a warm welcome to incoming Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who has been a steadfast ally of the Labour Movement, advocating for workers since his time as CEO of the Energy Market Authority in 2008.


Mr Wong also served as advisor to the Union of Power and Gas Employees (UPAGE) and the Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU).


In 2022, Mr Wong launched the Forward SG exercise at a Labour Movement engagement with union leaders, symbolising the importance of Tripartism and NTUC’s role in upholding the compact with workers.


Strengthening support for PME workforce


In the lead up to May Day Rally, Mr Ng emphasised in a pre-event media session on 25 April that supporting the growing PME segment remains a key priority for the Labour Movement.


During his May Day Rally opening speech, Mr Ng reiterated NTUC’s focus areas in catering to the workforce’s evolving needs and interests:

  • Reinforcing tripartism as the bedrock of Singapore’s industrial harmony and economic success
  • Continuing NTUC’s strong track record of championing workers across all worker segments
  • Strengthening efforts to support PMEs through:
  1. Robust workplace representation and advocacy
  2. Facilitating their career progression via initiatives like NTUC’s Company Training Committees (CTCs)
  3. Bringing career guidance and placement services closer to PMEs


Beyond PMEs, Mr Ng affirmed NTUC’s commitment to uplift other segments outlined in 2023’s #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations report – including youths, caregivers, older workers and vulnerable workers.


Click here for the Labour Movement Annual 2024 report.