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Cleaners first to be lauded in NTUC "Appreciating U" movement

High tea and lunches, certificates of recognition and movie screenings among the ways 200 public and private sector organisations are appreciating their cleaners, says the labour movement.

SINGAPORE: More than 10,000 cleaners in Singapore will be given special treats in a show of appreciation for the work that they do, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said on Monday (June 16).

As of this month, 200 organisations - including employers in both the private and public sector employers - have pledged to show their appreciation for their cleaners in the form of high tea and lunch treats, recognition certificates and vouchers, as well as outings and movie screenings, the labour movement said.

These treats are part of the "Appreciating U" movement organised by the NTUC to thank working people from all walks of life in various ways. The local cleaning workforce was identified to kickstart the movement, NTUC said on Monday during the appreciation lunch organised by the NTUC U Care Centre and the Housing and Development Board Staff Union (HDBSU) for 115 cleaners working in the area.

Labour chief Lim Swee Say presented recognition certificates to 26 cleaners working in the area during the event. They had been nominated by their employers for their "outstanding work performance".

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General, Mr Zainal Sapari, said during the event: "As we continue to push for better jobs for our low-wage workers to better their lives, we must remember that nurturing a culture of kindness towards them also contributes to more meaningful lives for them and their families.

"It is this mindset change that will better enable us to push for progressive wages, job security and safer workplaces for our low wage workers."

More employers are expected to come on board with the movement to appreciate their cleaners in the coming months. There are also plans to gradually extend the "Appreciate U" initiative to other segments of Singapore's workforce, such as security officers, nurses, and migrant workers, NTUC said. 

Meantime, you too, can do your bit to show appreciation for cleaners. The Labour Movement has a Tribute to Cleaners online contest, where you can take selfie, and upload it to Facebook to enter. Cleaners in photos that have the most 'likes' or 'most touching descriptions' can get up to S$100 worth of vouchers.

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