CBF = work harder for lower wages or work harder for same wages or work much harder for a small wage increase?
The old trick to attract foreign investments has always been to have wages lag behind productivity growth so that per unit labor cost falls. Please come to Singapore where workers are cheaper and faster. This tired old formula is just not going to work anymore because China and Vietnam has MUCH CHEAPER, MUCH FASTER workers. Why does the govt of Singapore not apply CBF to itself? Can the HDB build cheaper and better flats faster? Can Singapore Power supply cheaper energy? Can our public transport come faster, fares made cheaper and commuters have a better more comfortable ride instead of getting herded like cattle?
CBF is only for workers - the lesser mortals of this country. Our ministers are certainly not cheaper, better or faster than those of other countries. When it comes to problems faced by Singaporeans they have been SLOW. Slow to react to the housing shortfall, slow to react to minibond fallout of Lehman's collapse etc.
Workers should no longer accept this CBF formula which has led to a large income gap and misery among a large segment of the population. We should have QPS instead - quality, premium and smart workforce to distingish ourselves from the Chinese and Vietnamese. Unless the cost of living is low, workers cannot afford to suppliers of cheap labor. Lim Swee Say doesn't come cheap and as labor chief he cannot expect Singapore workers to be cheap. The influx of cheap foreign labor sends the wrong message to investors and creates the expectation of low wages when they come here. Low wages does not go with the high cost of living in Singapore. If Lim Swee Say wants CBF he should apply first to himself, then to the PAP govt before he opens his mouth to ask workers to be CBF.
Labour movement working towards cheaper, better, faster economyBy Ismail Saifulbahri / Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 15 October 2009 2230 hrs
Labour movement working towards cheaper, better, faster economy
SINGAPORE: The labour movement, NTUC, will be working towards helping put on track a "Cheaper, Better, Faster (CBF)" economy in the next two years. The CBF strategy will help drive Singapore into the next phase of growth. "We want to create early successes in all sectors to demonstrate how the CBF concept can be implemented on the ground," said labour chief Lim Swee Say. Mr Lim gave examples of companies that have already taken the CBF strategy to heart. The wafer fabrication sector had launched a national framework for skills upgrading in August. ST Microelectronics began training 7,000 engineers this year, to be followed by 3,000 technicians and operators next year. Making his closing address at the NTUC Ordinary Delegates' Conference, the labour chief was also encouraged by the strong endorsement given by union leaders to the CBF concept. However, even as they pledged their support, unionists raised concerns over how it would translate on the ground and impact workers. Some delegates at the conference were worried that the CBF strategy might lead to job cuts. Mr Lim said: "They feel that it's very important that the management has the same understanding of the CBF because the CBF economy is not about downsizing the workforce. "It's not just about applying them to manufacturing sector, it's not about just including the younger workers, better educated workers, but instead it should be inclusive for all workers - young and old." Mr Lim pointed out: "Which country, which tripartite partners will want to work together to become cheaper, better, faster, to improve productivity so that every one per cent improvement in productivity will lead to one per cent rise in unemployment rate?" He added that the end result will be stronger economic growth, more profitable companies, and higher wages. Mr Lim also said that older or less-educated workers will not be left out in the drive to be cheaper, better, and faster. Foreign workers too, will be given training. Over the next two years, NTUC will be working with companies to raise worker productivity. It will also work closely with the Singapore National Employers' Federation (SNEF) in the months ahead to ensure that both businesses and workers are on the same page regarding what the CBF strategy entails. The three-day conference, which ended on Thursday, was a time for unionists to take stock of their progress and to raise issues on the ground. Some said more could be done to get women back to work, and to provide better support for working mothers. Others suggested ways to make training courses more accessible. - CNA/sc