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Next Year’s Minimum Wage Talks Initiated without Labor Representatives
Friction from the Start
Next Year’s Minimum Wage Talks Initiated without Labor Representatives
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • June 20, 2018, 11:40
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The Minimum Wage Commission held a plenary session on June 19 in the absence of the employee representatives.
The Minimum Wage Commission held a plenary session on June 19 in the absence of the employee representatives.

The Minimum Wage Commission of the Ministry of Employment and Labor held a plenary session on June 19 to start discussion on minimum wage for next year. The local labor community, which has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the recently amended Minimum Wage Act, did not participate in the session. Under the circumstances, minimum wage discussions are likely to go nowhere this year yet again.

A plenary session is attended by all of the 27 members of the commission, who include nine members each representing the public interest, employees and employers. They get together to determine next year’s minimum wage. According to the Minimum Wage Act, passage of any resolution through the session requires the presence of at least 14 members and the approval of at least half of the attending members, with the presence of at least one-third of the employee and employer representatives.

Earlier, the commission was planning to hold a plenary session on June 14, 19 and 21 and additional meetings from June 26 to 28 to settle next year’s minimum wage within the legal deadline, which is June 28. With the employee representatives absent, however, the other parties could not make any decision. The representatives of public interest and employers are planning to run the sessions as previously scheduled and share the result with the employee representatives.
 

At the plenary session, the employer side urged the employee representative to return to the commission for its normal operation. “The main purpose of the Minimum Wage Act is to stabilize the livelihood of employees and reduce income inequality, but this goal should be achieved with the payment capabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises and small businesses taken into account,” one of the employer representatives remarked.