Zainal Sapari has become the hero for Low-wage workers again…this time more gutsy and bolder…

He’s done it again!


Labour MP Zainal Sapari has once again stood up for low-wage workers. This time on social media…

In a blogpost, the NTUC Assistant Secretary General hit out at businesses that outsource the work of cleaning, security and landscaping. He highlighted the plight of the vulnerable workers of service providers as a result of outsourcing of these services.

Here are his exact words:

“Outsourcing has led to market failure, contributing to the depression and stagnation of wages of many low-wage workers such as cleaners, security officers, to name a few”

Just two weeks ago, he made the same call in Parliament for the National Wages Council’s (NWC) recommendations on pay increases for low-wage workers to be made mandatory, among other calls.

It looks like he has taken on the role of being the hero for low-wage workers by standing up for them to the villian which is ‘outsourcing’.

Here’s 4 reasons why he really is the gutsy voice for low-wage workers:

1. He’s not afraid to criticise the NWC

In his post, Zainal pointed out that the NWC recommendations “did not work for these outsourced workers”.

Even if they do receive increments (Sorry NWC, it’s usually not because of your recommendations) and see their wages increase over the contract duration, it would be ‘reset’ again in a new contract because their employer (or a new service provider) puts in the lowest bid to win the contract.

2. He’s not afraid of service buyers

He called certain service buyers ‘demons’ who exploit their outsourced workers by keeping business costs low. He said Service buyers were willing to buy services from providers that provided good wages and benefits to the outsourced workers but only if he could guarantee that their competitors would do the same.

“In short, as long as the others were ‘cheap sourcing’, they would too as well (Thanks for the support, guys! But really, how much would it affect your competitiveness given that the costs of buying such services would be very small in relation to total operating costs and rental income received?).”

3. He’s not scared of the Big G

Besides calling for the annual increments and 13th month bonus compulsory like the NTUC-led Progressive Wage Model (PWM), he called on service buyers, including the GOVERNMENT, to be more worker-centric and maintain a long-term relationship with good service providers.

H even suggested that it’s time to change the government’s bible a.k.a Instructions Manual.

4. He’s coining his own phrase

Zainal Sapari

Business and Management guru Peter Drucker who started the phenomena of ‘outsourcing’ in the late 90s once said: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!”

But Zainal has come up with his own advice:

“Do what you do best, outsource the rest but don’t outsource your responsibility!”

I can’t agree more!


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