|▲ The basic wage scale for the workers with indefinite duration employment contracts by the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service.|
The Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service(KCOMWEL) has decided to convert 1,464 agency or subcontract workers who have been used to perform part of KCOMWEL's tasks to the regular workers with full-time and permanent positions. However, in the conversion process to the regular positions, wage cuts for some workers are causing controversies. This happened because KCOMWEL designed a new wage scale for which the minimum wage is used as the basic wage for them with five grades by setting pay rates of 10 percent difference between the grades. Grade 1 starts with 100 percent of the minimum wage, and 110 percent for Grade 2, 120 percent for Grade 3, 130 percent for Grade 4 and 140 percent for Grade 5. The wage scale does not reflect the wage raise related to the length of employment and the level of skills. In this regard, critics insist that KCOMWEL is even far short of reaching the level of the government-developed standard wage model and its move would further firm up the low wage structure in the labor market.
A non-regular worker only surnamed by Mr. Choi working in KCOMWEL Incheon Hospital received a monthly gross wage amounting to 2,740,000 won(US$ 2,432) after tax including the basic wage of 2,112,880 won(US$ 1,876) and other benefits such as over time pay, as of July this year. In August this year, KCOMWEL advised him to submit a job application to work as a regular employee to KCOMWEL from October 1, as the KCOMWEL's contract with his former subcontractor firm terminates. KCOMWEL explained to him about the standards of wages and benefits he would receive after the employment status changes, but he was stunned to know that his monthly gross wage was reduced by 700,000 won(US$ 621) from the wage level he received when he was hired by a subcontractor company. Even though he could not agree to the changes, he did not have any other choice but to accept the offer in order to continue on his work at KCOMWEL.
The Labor Today came to know through the information obtained on September 11 regarding 'the second conversion plan of indirectly employed non-regular workers to regular workers' by the KCOMWEL that 1,464 agency or subcontract workers will be converted to indefinite duration contract workers, commencing from August according to the period of time that the contracts with subcontractor firms terminate. In the first batch of the conversion plan, 319 workers have been converted to regular workers. At the moment, the recruitment procedures for 241 workers as the second batch are being taken, targeting the workers in the tasks dealing with electricity, machines, communications, cleaning service, facility security, and care service at its main and regional headquarters, branches, centers and hospitals across the country.
reported by Kim Mi-young
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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