Written by Ng E-Jay
13 Feb 2016
Why do I always say that corporations have a responsibility to society? It is because corporations use society’s infrastructure to move their goods around and communicate with others. They use infrastructure built with TAXPAYER DOLLARS to conduct their business and earn a profit. And they also rely on our law enforcement agencies, which are also funded by TAXPAYER DOLLARS to ensure their property and intellectual rights are respected.
That is why all corporations have a duty to society. They have a duty to be fair to their workers and to pay them a respectable living wage. They cannot just outsource and disregard the impact that this has on their own workers.
Look at the issue at another angle: If a company has to pay its workers a meager wage just in order to survive as a going concern, do we really want such a low-class business model to thrive in Singapore? Do we want Singapore to embrace inefficient business models that can only be profitable when workers are exploited? The answer is no.
We only want businesses which can pay all workers a decent living wage, and which can invest in becoming more productive and more competent, rather than simply reducing service levels and exploiting workers just to stay afloat.
We only want businesses that can rely on local talent even whilst they tap the expertise of foreign talent.
We only want businesses that take a long term-view of profit and social accountability, and are prepared to devise business models and strategies that can stand the test of time. We most certainly don’t want fly-by-night companies that are just interested in making a quick buck by paying workers a low wage. We want high-class businesses, not low-class businesses!