When the boss gets a wage freeze…
Fear is spreading like wild fire among the SMEs that the recommendation of Lim Chong Yah is going to raise the cost of doing business here. The 3 year 50% wage adjustment will be very costly. Sure. But can this be offset by the 3 year wage freeze of the top management? Lim Chong Yah’s proposal is like Robin Hood, robbing the rich to pay the poor. Not pay the poor and pay the rich more.
How much does the top management get for their pay rise, visible and invisible, ie cash, perks, bonuses, share options etc etc? Assuming a CEO gets $500k in pay hike, plus an unspeakable sum of shares which could be another few hundred thousand, or say $200k, these would give a total pay increase of $700k. This amount can easily be translated into a pay hike of $1000 pa for 700 workers without adding more cost to the company. And if one is to add the top 20 or so management’s pay hike, the total could easily be a million or two, which means more employees could benefit from this transferring of wealth.
I know that the numbers are very simplistic, but still reasonable and real. What is so wrong about it? It is wrong only when the increase at the lower half is not accompanied by freeze at the top. Sure, they will be very unhappy and want to quit and look for more well paying jobs with more increments.
The company can take the opportunity to cut cost at the top and bring in fresh blood that is younger and more energetic to fill the empty seats. Can or not?