SINGAPORE: Veteran healthcare union leader K Thanaletchimi was appointed as president of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Thursday (Nov 23), following the election of a new NTUC Central Committee.
Ms Thanaletchimi, 57, takes over the role from Ms Mary Liew, who did not seek re-election after serving two terms as president. NTUC has a rule that requires its leaders to step down when they turn 62 to make way for younger successors.
Ms Thanaletchimi was elected as the president of the National University Hospital Employees’ Union (NUHEU) in 1998 and was the driving force behind the merger of NUHEU and the Health Corporation of Singapore Staff Union, NTUC said in a media release.
This led to the successful formation in 2006 of the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), which she has led as president since 2011.
Ms Thanaletchimi was first elected to the NTUC Central Committee in October 2015 and was elected vice-president 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,” said Ms Thanaletchimi after her election.
“They can be assured that we will continue to walk alongside them in our renewed workers’ compact.”
Ms Liew, who was first elected president in 2015, expressed her thanks to fellow labour movement leaders, saying that her time at the helm was “nothing short of enriching and fulfilling”.
“As I conclude my second term, I extend my deepest gratitude for the unwavering support and collective leadership of my fellow NTUC Central Committee members and our union leaders across different sectors,” Ms Liew said in a statement.
“Their dedication to our workers’ cause; robust debates on how best to help our workers; and taking action on the ground to make a difference in our members’ lives really inspired m...