Indian-origin healthcare unionist elected president of Singapore’s largest labour group

Indian-origin healthcare unionist elected president of Singapore's largest labour group

SINGAPORE: Indian-origin healthcare unionist K Thanaletchimi has been appointed as president of the National Trades Union Congress — Singapore‘s largest labour group. About 450 delegates from the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) 58 affiliated unions on Thursday elected via secret ballot Thanaletchimi and a new committee for a four-year term till 2027, Channel News Asia reported.
Thanaletchimi (57) takes over from Mary Liew, who did not seek re-election after serving two terms as president. NTUC requires its leaders to step down when they turn 62 to make way for younger successors.
Among her many roles in the unions, Thanaletchimi served as a nominated member of Parliament from 2016 to 2018.
Thanaletchimi was elected as president of the National University Hospital Employees’ Union in 1998 and was the driving force behind its merger with the Health Corporation of Singapore Staff Union, NTUC said in a release.
This led to the successful formation in 2006 of the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union, which Thanaletchimi led as president since 2011.
Thanaletchimi was first elected to the NTUC’s central committee in October 2015 and became one of its vice-presidents in 2019.
“Earlier this year, we had renewed our workers’ compact and it will be my duty as president to continue to champion the interest of our workers with the new central committee, working on initiatives targeted at bettering their wages, welfare and work prospects,” Thanaletchimi said after her ascension.
“They can be assured that we will continue to walk alongside them in our renewed workers’ compact,” Channel News Asia quoted her as saying.
The election was held at the NTUC National Delegates’ Conference, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday. NTUC holds the National Delegates’ Conference once every four years.
Ng Chee Meng (55) was re-elected as secretary-general while Arasu Duraisamy (55) was elected as secretary for financial affairs.
A new 21-member committee was also elected, with all 16 incumbents who ran for re-election retaining their places in the labour movement’s top decision-making body. The committee members then voted to elect the office-bearers among themselves.

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