Public servants?The news about corruption in the incumbent administration never stops coming, disappointing and frustrating the people. Last year, the Korea Railroad Corporation recorded a loss of 525.9 billion won ($530 million), but the company gave its workers bonuses 296 percent the size of an average salary.
The Korea Coal Corporation saw a deficit of 95.8 billion won, coming in last in an evaluation of management accomplishments. Nevertheless the company will give a 200 percent salary bonus to its workers.
The Korea Resources Corporation made a surplus of 2.8 billion won but it will spend 3.7 billion on bonuses. Public corporations give at least 200 percent of a salary as bonuses. That would be outrageous in private companies. But workers at public companies complain it is too little.
The Korea Racing Association gives retired employees money for medical check-ups and for family events such as births and burials for three years after they leave the company. Recently, it was revealed that a public company had been paying a person who had not come to work for two years.
Because it is a public company, no one has to take responsibility for this. The money comes from taxpayers. The employees at public companies do not need to worry about being fired and they get paid well. That is why when the Korea Racing Association had openings for 14 employees, 4,250 people applied.
The administration abandoned a plan to privatize these companies and instead made them larger. Management in public corporations has become worse.
Last year, net profits in public corporations decreased by 30 percent and liabilities increased by 20 trillion won. Nevertheless, the people in the administration will do anything to get a job at public corporations. When news about corruption in public companies draws attention, employees at those companies pretend to repent. But after things calm down, corruption continues. It is truly shameful, particularly because the incumbent administration has been shouting for reform.
It seems there is nothing we can hope for in this administration, in terms of public corporations. The next administration must solve this problem. The presidential candidates must present bold blueprints to reform public corporations. Once elected, the new president must get rid of corruption in public companies in order to establish justice in society. The fundamental solution is to privatize public companies, except for those that the government absolutely must handle.
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