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  • Writer's pictureAREU LM

Worth Fighting For

A Unique Opportunity

Brother Roslee Bin Mustaffa has been a faithful and long-standing worker in Jurong Bird Park (JBP), being with the company for 31 years. From working with air-conditioners to a reefer container company, Roslee snagged a “cool” opportunity in 1991; to work with JBP as a Penguin Technician. In 1993, he rose to the role of a Technician overseeing the sound system, lighting, and electrical wiring for shows. Over the years, Roslee was promoted to Senior Technician, and in 2018 became Assistant Manager at JBP.

Joining the Union

Roslee first joined the union for its many benefits including worker protection. Little did he anticipate, he would become a union leader (1995) and then Branch Chairman (2005). As Branch Chairman under the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment Union, he successfully changed the perspective of Jurong Bird Park's management team who then became more open to work with the Union to resolve issues faced by workers. This set a good foundation for the good labour-management relationship. When AREU was formed 10 years ago, he stepped up as an Executive Council member, speaking up for members not only in JBP but also in the attractions sector.

Because U Matter Most

We asked if he has ever regretted his decision to step forward and step up as a union leader. Candidly, Roslee shared that there have certainly been challenges along the way, and Union work is really about going beyond. As a result, there had been countless times he wondered if all that he did was worth it. But every single time that thought crossed his mind, he concluded that looking after the welfare of his members was worth everything as he could not imagine how it would be like if they had noone to turn to for assistance.

"The element of human touch is very important”

To Roslee, being a good union leader means understanding the staff and learning to see challenges from their perspectives. It is also about being able to speak up when needed. In 2016, his stepped in to speak with JBP’s CEO led to the reversal of the Deputy CEO’s decision not to recontract a group of workers. To Roslee, workers well-being and welfare are constantly on his mind, he even worked with the management to provide a goodwill assistance to a non-Union member who was medically ill and was unable to continue his service with the organisation.

Etched in His Heart

With JBP moving out of it long time location at Jurong Hill, Roslee remarked “31 years is a long time and it isn’t easy to part with strong memories here,” Roslee shares. Personally, he is heavy-hearted having to leave his workplace of 3 decades and saying goodbye to senior colleagues who will not be moving to Mandai.

His favourite places in JBP are the Penguin Coast and Waterfall Aviary. Penguin Coast holds dear memories of his early days in JBP. He would always remember the infamous penguin, “Satay”, that survived surgery after choking on a stick! (that's how Satay got its name!) He also reminisces on his mornings watching the waters crash down from the world’s tallest man-made waterfall, as he turns on the pump at the Waterfall Aviary every day. More than these physical locations, the camaraderie, and friendships he developed over the years at JBP are the most priceless to him.

Staying Optimistic

Since the announcement of the move, AREU has worked closely with the company's management team in allowing workers to orientate themselves by visiting the new place beforehand. Roslee had also been a trustworthy listener, taking in the feedback from fellow workers and worked closely with the management to ensure that the transition will be less tedious. As JBP officially closes its door on 3 January 2023, Roslee never stops encouraging fellow workers to remain optimistic and open to changes.

"It was a bittersweet goodbye."

Too many memorable moments in this place he spent more than 3 decades in, but now it is time to brace himself for new challenges. He desires to start off on a positive note in Mandai and hopes it would be a place he can build new memories.

Make a Difference

AREU works closely with workers and company management to create a more stable, protected and progressive workforce. Are you working in the Attractions, Resorts and Entertainment sector? Join as an NTUC member today, exciting benefits await!

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