For the month of May, union members of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) can look forward to having their daily fix of coffee or tea at S$0.50 a cup.

More than 90 NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam food courts will be participating in this initiative. Union members can continue to enjoy the benefit of these discounted drinks every Wednesday from June. This will last for a year.

Announced as part of NTUC’s May Day message on 25 April 2019, the initiative is expected to benefit more than 1.7 million people. It comes on the back of FairPrice’s moves to help alleviate concerns about costs of living, such as freezing the prices of 100 house brand products until next June.

“NTUC FairPrice has led the way in keeping the prices of essential products low”, said a joint message by NTUC president Mary Liew and the labour movement’s secretary-general Ng Chee Meng.

The NTUC has also managed to extend their ability to make cheaper food more widely available due to acquiring food court operator, Kopitiam, last year.

“The labour movement understands that cost of living remains a key concern of our workers, and will continue to address this in both the immediate and long-term,” said NTUC in a press release.

Apart from addressing immediate concerns brought on by high cost of living, NTUC also has the long-term needs of workers in mind.

“Securing better work prospects for workers is a key imperative given the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. Workers must be trained in tandem, as Workers 4.0, to not only keep up with this transformation, but secure better work prospects”, said the labour movement in its May Day message.

The NTUC plans to collaborate with companies to form training committees that will implement training programs to help workers keep pace with new technology. These committees will also help converge company interests with worker interests, thus benefitting both throughout the IR4.0 transformation.

As of now there are 18 companies, such as SIA Engineering Company and in-flight catering service provider SATS, that have worked with the union to form such training committees.

NTUC is hoping to accelerate the formation of training committees in 1,000 companies across all six industry transformation map groups over the next three years, with a predicted 330,000 workers to benefit. The NTUC will have a dedicated group of training specialists working with union leaders and industrial relations officers in order to achieve this goal.