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More firms take part in job-sharing

Mar 09,2009
The job-sharing campaign, the Korean government’s favored strategy to deal with the economic crisis, is expanding fast as more companies cut wages to create new jobs.

Its growth recalls the gold-collecting campaign during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

LG Group, the nation’s fourth-biggest business group, said yesterday it will hire 6,000 new employees for this year. Among them, 4,000 will be college graduates, 1,000 more than the conglomerate initially planned.

“It is part of our efforts to join the job-sharing,” said the group in a statement about the job increase for college graduates, adding that half of the 4,000 jobs will be filled in the first half of the year, and the other 2,000 in the second half. LG will pay for the 1,000 extra workers with a 10 to 30 percent reduction in wages for executives and 5 to 15 percent off wages for new employees.

The group’s total workforce for the year will increase to 94,000 from 90,000 last year, as the group will also lose 2,000 workers, it said.

In a New Year message in January, LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo stressed that LG should actively try to foster talent even in economically difficult times to prepare for the future.

Korea Development Bank also recently joined the job-sharing effort.

The state-run lender said yesterday it will cut basic wages for newcomers by 20 percent and use the savings to hire 200 young interns, 100 in the first half and 100 in the second of the year.

“I expect the job-sharing efforts by Korea Development Bank to spread further throughout society and contribute to the nation’s overcoming the economic crisis,” said Min Euoo-seung, KDB’s CEO, in a statement.

Also yesterday, the Korea Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives, a state-run lender specializing in loan services to low-income families and small businesses, said through the Ministry of Public Administration and Security that it will hire around 1,000 people this year, double the size of previous years. Money saved from lowering initial wage levels and saving on other labor costs will be used to pay the new employees, it said.

SK Group recently initiated a recruiting process for what it dubbed “a win-win internship.” It plans to hire 1,800 interns by cutting executive wages.

Samsung, Korea’s biggest conglomerate, and other big companies such as CJ, Posco, and Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group have also said they will create jobs by cutting wages. Those companies either initiated their recruitment process last week or plan to do soon.


By Moon Gwang-lip Staff Reporter [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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