In connection with the opening today of the international round table on the social responsibility in business, Pravda.ru has interviewed Yuri Malyukov, State Duma deputy, asking him what social responsibility in business means – good will of the management or a necessity of market economy? Mr. Maslyukov answered as follows. Social responsibility is a problem which has become ripe in Russia. Here, large businesses, creating a kind of territory corporations assume the burden of social responsibility. Corporate workers who are also region election voters, are becoming target of a dual interest. A worker in a one-factory town has nowhere to go – there is no job for him except at his “native company.” On the other hand, such a company also has no other workers available. So, the labour market is limited. This contradiction turns political, although it is in the best interests of both parties to solve it peacefully. Until recently, business treated its employees from the position of “there is no getting away.” But, as the crisis is being solved and as the economy grows, the employer becomes more and more interested in his company not just as a property or the instrument of speculation, but exactly in the production. Also rising is the interest in what is being produced, in the quality of labour. At last, the employee gets something to bargain with the employer. He ceases to be just an unwanted makeweight to the property. The profit becomes dependent on him. Social responsibility proper is product of the equal-standing interaction between the employer and the employee. The product of the interaction is not always peaceful. Anyhow, it is not the matter of the employer’s good will, but the result of his being interested in the employee.

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