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Pritam Singh praises employers who see the value in uplifting lower-wage workers even if their costs go up

"...Singapore society and our sense of rootedness as a people is on very shaky grounds if we ignore the well-being of the low-income amongst us," said Mr Pritam

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Workers’ Party () secretary-general has praised employers who said that they would support measures to uplift lower-wage workers even if it meant they had to incur higher costs.

Amid the heated debate from those for and against implementing a , the Business Times (BT) asked business leaders whether they would support measures to uplift their least paid workers even if such moves resulted in higher costs for their organisations.

The publication polled 22 business leaders and the reactions were mixed. Some were firmly against supporting such measures if their costs will go up and asserted that this would lead to a “lose-lose” situation since the company may go out of business or be forced to outsource work to foreign firms that could do the job for a cheaper cost.

Others were hesitant to support a policy although they were willing to support moves that would uplift their least paid employees. These business leaders expressed their support for the existing Progressive Wage Model, which was recently dubbed “minimum wage plus” by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.

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Several others saw the value of uplifting their lower-wage earning workers even if it meant higher costs for their organisations and supported such moves, linking satisfied workers with increased productivity. These leaders felt that society would ultimately be better off if such measures were implemented.

Mr Pritam, Singapore’s Leader of the Opposition, said that these forward-thinking business leaders “deserve to be encouraged, supported and championed,” in a Facebook post published on Tuesday (15 Sept).

Pointing out that the “naysayers on social media” believe that giving low-income Singaporeans higher wages will cause negative outcomes for both businesses and low-income workers, Mr Pritam found it “useful to read what employers say.”

He wrote:Some employers come across as far more enlightened – in my view – almost intuitively aware that Singapore society and our sense of rootedness as a people is on very shaky grounds if we ignore the well-being of the low-income amongst us. These are employers that deserve to be encouraged, supported and championed.”

BT: Improving Worker Welfare_______________________________“As a business leader, would you support moves to uplift…

Posted by Pritam Singh on Monday, 14 September 2020

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