Compare and Contrast Trade Unions in Singapore and China

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In the following essay I will be investigating if NTUC and ACFTU are really trade unions and present the evidence that I have collected which has helped to shape my opinions and support my arguments. Growing up in Singapore, I have heard about NTUC since I was young but never have I scrutinised the trade union here so closely. I used to think that NTUC was the company that gave Singaporeans NTUC Fairprice, the supermarket and NTUC Income for subsidised insurance. To be quite honest, I was largely ignorant about what the NTUC did, but I knew that the NTUC was fundamentally part of the government. Taking a glimpse into history and the events that shaped NTUC, I have a newfound respect and pride for my nation’s trade union for the work…show more content…
In Singapore, the close ties between PAP and NTUC is not a relationship that is kept behind close doors. In fact, NTUC’s Secretary General Lim Chee Onn in 1982 openly stated that the PAP and NTUC come from the same womb. This elitist society as evidenced goes against the definition of a trade union, as the members of a trade union should be the common man who isn’t part of any elitist group. The PAP government believes that the NTUC should have elite leadership to guide the non-elite leaders and the ordinary members of the union. The PAP also believed that Singapore would benefit from appointing the elitist society as, ‘the non-elite cannot be relied upon to represent themselves competently’ (Barr, 2000, p. 482). This belief reeks of anti-democracy however, it has somehow been accepted with the general public in Singapore. In China, the government usually appoints the senior officials of the ACFTU. Even if members elect a representative, the union may not necessarily agree on the elected representative. The top official in ACFTU is also a member of the leading body of the CCP and usually holds a position more senior in the government than in the union. As like the NTUC and PAP, the ACFTU and CCP career paths for members are permeable. However, the status and prospects in the CCP are more desirable than in ACFTU and thus union members are more prone to associate with CCP’s interests than the unions. Both
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