Keeping pace with the government’s push for "zero temporary workers,” POSCO has begun the internal review to hire in-house subcontracted workers as its regular employees. POSCO is one of major companies in the heavy industry including steel, shipbuilding and oil refining with a considerable number of subcontract workers. Accordingly, all eyes are on how POSCO’s decision to expand the direct employment will affect the relevant industries.
POSCO Chairman Kwon Oh-joon said on June 4, “We are considering the direct employment of subcontracted workers, though the government’s policy is no clearly decided yet.” This is the first time for Kwon to directly mention the shift in the status of subcontracted workers into regular ones. The number of short-term workers directly hired by POSCO stood at 304 as of March, accounting for a mere 1.8 percent of the total of 16,649. However, the ratio of teporary workers, including indirect subcontract employees, goes up to a whopping 54.8 percent.
As Kwon showed his will to change its subcontract labor policy, POSCO is likely to make move before the ruling of the case filed by 15 in-house subcontracted workers at the steel mill in Gwangyang in 2011, which is now pending before the Supreme Court. The in-house subcontracted workers, who were in charge of running cranes at the Gwangyang steel mill, filed the suit against POSCO, requesting for the shift of their status into regular workers as their job is part of the main project. POSCO won at the first hearing, but was defeated at the second. So, the company appealed to the Supreme Court.
An official from POSCO said, “As the government has come up with the framework of regular employment principles through the Job Creation Committee, we will actively pursue the detailed standards when they are announced.”