THE National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) described Lee Kuan Yew as a "dear brother" to the labour movement who always had the interests and welfare of workers foremost in his mind.
In a condolence letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, NTUC said Mr Lee Kuan Yew's ties with the unionists and workers stretched back to the "fractious environment of the 1950s, when he first fought alongside the Postal and Telecommunications Uniformed Staff Union for better pay and terms".
"As co-founder of the People's Action Party, he built a strong, symbiotic relationship with the NTUC. As the first Prime Minister of Singapore, he championed a constructive brand of tripartism," said NTUC president Diana Chia and secretary-general Lim Swee Say in the statement.
"He forged reforms and introduced policies that improved our economy, transformed our nation and gave us hope of a better life. He gained our complete trust with his personal motto that the PAP government would never forget that 'it is in the interest of workers and their unions that we must strive for growth and development'," NTUC added.
Mr Lee's "selfless leadership" and "steadfast support" to the unions and workers of Singapore will "forever remain in our hearts", said NTUC.
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