Fair Wages

Fair Wages

Strengthening Corporate Social Responsibility

Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead

Over the last decade the emergence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has contributed towards better corporate governance by tackling such burning issues as child labour and basic human rights violations. However, as the author argues in this important new book, the time has now come to incorporate wage issues into CSR. Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead proposes a new methodology, the ‘Fair Wage’ approach, which should allow all CSR actors to make progress in this field through a coherent and comprehensive set of fair wage dimensions and indicators.

Foreword

Auret van Heerden

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, economics and finance, labour economics, law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights

Extract

This is an exceptionally important and timely piece of work for the simple reason that it brings to our allention a global crisis that of unfair wages. 'Crisis' is an overworked concept these days but the wage crisis is the Great White Shark preying just below the surface of our troubled economies. In the first chapter of this book, Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead shows that the wage crisis goes back at least a decade and that workers' wages did not keep pace with the economic growth that characterized the period up to the financial crisis in 2008. Wages declined as a share of GDP and of company profits, while wage inequality widened. This means that workers were gelling poorer in a period of robust economic growth and wealth creation. The data presented in this book are troubling and have led me to conclude that we are faced with a situation that is unfair and unequal and will surely lead to conflict. Indeed, it already has. In 2006, workers in Bangladesh went on strike on a massive scale because they simply could not make ends meet on wages that had not been adjusted in over n dozen years. The government finally convened the Wage Boord and the Board increased wages to US$23 per month, a level well below what many believe to be necessary for an acceptable standard of living. This is borne out by continuing wage protests and the Bangladeshi Wage Board is again discussing an adjustment to the minimum wage....