Weekly Work Hours

입력 2017.03.22 (14:56) 수정 2017.03.22 (15:00)

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[Anchor Lead]

The political parties' plan to cut the maximum for weekly work hours to 52 has sparked controversy. The business community in particular has strongly protested the move due to concerns over potential labor costs.

[Pkg]

This company producing wooden boards cut its employees' work hours from 66 hours a week to 48 through labor-management negotiations last year. Although the workers' wages have been cut, the company was able to hire 70 more employees.

[Soundbite] Nam Yoo-shik(Staff at Sunchang Corp.) : "Our wages are lower now, but it's easier to work, as we have more employees."

The revised bill for the Labor Standards Act approved by the political parties calls for reducing work hours in a bid to create more jobs. The salient point of the bill is to cut the maximum weekly work hours from 68 to 52. The new regulation is to take effect in 2019 for large corporations consisting of more than 300 employees, and in 2021 for businesses that have fewer than 300 employees. The business community and the labor circles say they agree with the ultimate goal of the new law, but disagree significantly on the details. The business community is demanding supplementary measures, because labor costs are expected to surge more than 12 trillion won if the new regulations are enacted.

[Soundbite] Lee Dong-eung(Korea Employers Federation) : "Small and mid-sized businesses will likely face huge obstacles due to unbearable labor costs."

The labor circles say that reducing work hours is imperative, but the issue of additional allowances for working on holidays remains unresolved.

[Soundbite] Nam Jung-soo(Spokesperson, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) : "We believe that the National Assembly must reach an agreement in line with the law, which stipulates 100 percent of additional allowances for holiday work shifts."

The National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee is to discuss the issue of shorter work hours again on March 23, but the discussion will likely hit many snags, as some lawmakers are opposed to the revised bill.

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  • Weekly Work Hours
    • 입력 2017-03-22 14:51:53
    • 수정2017-03-22 15:00:30
    News Today
[Anchor Lead]

The political parties' plan to cut the maximum for weekly work hours to 52 has sparked controversy. The business community in particular has strongly protested the move due to concerns over potential labor costs.

[Pkg]

This company producing wooden boards cut its employees' work hours from 66 hours a week to 48 through labor-management negotiations last year. Although the workers' wages have been cut, the company was able to hire 70 more employees.

[Soundbite] Nam Yoo-shik(Staff at Sunchang Corp.) : "Our wages are lower now, but it's easier to work, as we have more employees."

The revised bill for the Labor Standards Act approved by the political parties calls for reducing work hours in a bid to create more jobs. The salient point of the bill is to cut the maximum weekly work hours from 68 to 52. The new regulation is to take effect in 2019 for large corporations consisting of more than 300 employees, and in 2021 for businesses that have fewer than 300 employees. The business community and the labor circles say they agree with the ultimate goal of the new law, but disagree significantly on the details. The business community is demanding supplementary measures, because labor costs are expected to surge more than 12 trillion won if the new regulations are enacted.

[Soundbite] Lee Dong-eung(Korea Employers Federation) : "Small and mid-sized businesses will likely face huge obstacles due to unbearable labor costs."

The labor circles say that reducing work hours is imperative, but the issue of additional allowances for working on holidays remains unresolved.

[Soundbite] Nam Jung-soo(Spokesperson, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) : "We believe that the National Assembly must reach an agreement in line with the law, which stipulates 100 percent of additional allowances for holiday work shifts."

The National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee is to discuss the issue of shorter work hours again on March 23, but the discussion will likely hit many snags, as some lawmakers are opposed to the revised bill.

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