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Employers, workers, customers have role to play: labour chief

Employers, workers and customers all depend on one another and have a role to play in making things better for each other, said labour chief Lim Swee Say.

SINGAPORE: Employers, workers and customers all depend on one another and have a role to play in making things better for each other, said labour chief Lim Swee Say.

Mr Lim, who is Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), was speaking at the NTUC May Day Rally on Thursday morning.

"We are doing well, we can do better -- every employer, every worker and every customer," stressed Mr Lim.

He said employers must learn to bring out the best in every worker and treat them better.

On the part of workers, Mr Lim said they have to value their jobs more and take greater pride in what they do.

Mr Lim also said as customers, one should remember that service staff are people too.

"We must remember that people serving us are people too. Let's treat each other as equals with courtesy, respect and appreciation. Indeed, we can all become better employers, better workers and better customers, all at the same time," said Mr Lim.

That view is shared by some people Channel NewsAsia spoke to.

Lau Yeow Tai, a 55-year-old service manager, said: "If you go to any restaurant, if you go in with a smile, they (the staff) will always return the smile. If you go in with a sour face, and expect the best, I don't think that will happen."

Syahril Idris, a 27-year-old bank analyst, said: "Singaporeans generally have a different view about customer service and it's not an easy job, really. People should be more considerate, not just to the customer service professionals but at the same time to your fellow men."

Mr Lim also noted that countries around the world mark May Day in different ways.

In Singapore, it's a time to appreciate the contributions of workers as well as honour many of them, who are often working behind the scenes.

Mr Lim also paid tribute to workers in essential services who work round the clock to ensure things run smoothly for Singapore.

He said: "We do not live in a world of zero defects. Nobody does. Things will go wrong from time to time.

"And when things go wrong, it may be human nature to be unhappy. However, let us not forget that for every day where some things go wrong, there are many, many days where most things go right. And this does not happen by chance.

"Every day, there are hundred and thousands of workers from all collars, all ages and all nationalities, working hard, working smart behind the scenes, so that things can go right for all of us."

Mr Lim also stressed that changes to make things better for all workers should be done every day, and not just on May Day. 

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