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Opposition leader vows to introduce lower minimum wage for foreigners

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By Jung Min-ho

Korea's opposition party leader has vowed to introduce a "different" minimum wage system for foreign workers.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, chairman of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), said Wednesday he will press ahead with revising related laws to lighten small business owners' financial burden. He made the pledge at a meeting with employers in Busan.

Given "the different degrees of their contribution to Korea," he said, it is "not fair" to set the same minimum wage for Korean and foreign workers.

"Koreans contribute more to the country, for example, by paying more in taxes," Hwang said. "Our party will revise related laws to improve the situation (for employers)."

His remarks come amid complaints that steep minimum wage hikes over the past two years have pushed many small businesses to the edge.

But Article 6 of the Labor Standards Act stipulates that an employer cannot discriminate against workers on the basis of gender, nationality, religion and social status.

The International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency that aims to promote decent work throughout the world, is also opposed to discrimination among workers.

The soaring minimum wage has emerged as a hot-button issue over the past two years, with the Moon Jae-in government aggressively pushing its income-led growth strategy ― defined by rapid hikes in the minimum hourly wage and a shorter work week.

In 2018, Korea increased the minimum wage by 16.4 percent on-year to 7,530 won an hour, the steepest rise in 17 years. In 2019, the wage jumped 10.9 percent to 8,350 won ($7.10).

Keeping it classy, here.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1531

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Well that isn't short-sighted at all. What could possibly go wrong?

> Minimum wage is raised across the board.
> Businesses struggle.
> Minimum wage for foreigners is lowered.
> Businesses hire foreigners instead of Koreans.


Surely there will be no complaints whatsoever. Go for it, Mr. Hwang.


It's not really aimed at us though is it?  This is more about the cheap labour coming from the Philippines or Kazakhstan, who probably wouldn't have healthcare and pension, which is the fault of their Korean bosses.  Cheap expendable labour is cheap expendable labour anyway.  Most of us are around the average for Korea anyway, so we are well above minimum. 

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Every year, the the Minimum Wage Commission under the Ministry of Employment and Labor determines a minimum wage for the next year.

The minimum wage rate for 2019 is 8,350 KRW a hour, 66,800 KRW a day and 1,745,150 KRW a month.

You should pay employees at least the minimum wage rate. If an employment contract has a pay rate lower than the minimum wage, the lower rate becomes null and void and replaced by the minimum wage rate.

Minimum wage applies to “a worker” defined by the Labor Standard Act, regardless of the type of employment or nationality. Therefore, the minimum wage applies not only to regular workers but also to temporary, daily, hourly workers and foreign workers. The same minimum wage rate applies to every region and every industry of Korea.

http://www.koreanlaborlaw.com/10-point-summary-of-the-korean-labor-laws-for-foreign-ceos-and-hr-managers/

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"Koreans contribute more to the country, for example, by paying more in taxes,"

sounds like campaigning bollocks here. 


It's not really aimed at us though is it?  This is more about the cheap labour coming from the Philippines or Kazakhstan, who probably wouldn't have healthcare and pension, which is the fault of their Korean bosses.  Cheap expendable labour is cheap expendable labour anyway.  Most of us are around the average for Korea anyway, so we are well above minimum. 

Quote
Every year, the the Minimum Wage Commission under the Ministry of Employment and Labor determines a minimum wage for the next year.

The minimum wage rate for 2019 is 8,350 KRW a hour, 66,800 KRW a day and 1,745,150 KRW a month.

You should pay employees at least the minimum wage rate. If an employment contract has a pay rate lower than the minimum wage, the lower rate becomes null and void and replaced by the minimum wage rate.

Minimum wage applies to “a worker” defined by the Labor Standard Act, regardless of the type of employment or nationality. Therefore, the minimum wage applies not only to regular workers but also to temporary, daily, hourly workers and foreign workers. The same minimum wage rate applies to every region and every industry of Korea.

http://www.koreanlaborlaw.com/10-point-summary-of-the-korean-labor-laws-for-foreign-ceos-and-hr-managers/

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"Koreans contribute more to the country, for example, by paying more in taxes,"

sounds like campaigning bollocks here. 
Correct, waygook.org user Ronnie Omelettes. This is in direct response to farm owners who hire a large number of foreign workers for seasonal harvest work complaining that they have to pay those foreign workers more money, now. They argue that foreign workers she have a lower minimum wage because they're foreign.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1190

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
If this comes to be, expect more foreigners to be hired over Koreans.  If it were in my country, I'd be pissed and that politicians would expect to get hate mail. 


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1542

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
In theory, the Mun government being supposedly leftist would not even consider having a different minimum wage.


Jacking up the minimum wage that much was just a bad move in general. It hasn't jumpstarted the economy at all or benefitted the creaation of quality jobs. It just makes crappy jobs nominally less crappy while raising costs.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3721

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Jacking up the minimum wage that much was just a bad move in general. It hasn't jumpstarted the economy at all or benefitted the creaation of quality jobs. It just makes crappy jobs nominally less crappy while raising costs.
Yea, who would want to improve working conditions?  Who ever heard of such nonsense?