As jobs are threatened

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As jobs are threatened

Vice presidents of five business organizations visited the Grand National Party Thursday to ask party leaders, including Floor Leader Ahn Sang-soo, to take action on the bill on irregular workers. They visited the Democratic Party as well yesterday, regarding the same issue.

July 1 marks exactly two years since the employment period for temporary workers was limited to two years. More than 700,000 irregular workers are likely to be fired because of the limit. Business managers complain that they cannot devise a plan because the National Assembly won’t say whether it will revise the bill or not. If the current act remains as is, employers need to fire irregular workers, hire new ones and retrain them. Meanwhile, time is running out.

Based on a survey on business managers, the representatives of the business organizations said that the act does not help irregular workers find full-time jobs. Rather, it causes them to lose the jobs they already have. Worse, workers will have difficulty finding new jobs during the economic slowdown. Even if they find jobs, they are again more likely to be employed as irregular workers. If they lose their jobs and find new ones once every two years, their professional skills do not advance, which will make them increasingly more difficult to employ. This will cause companies to lose productivity and incur costs for training workers.

The Democratic Party listened to the opinions of some 30 organizations of irregular workers yesterday in the Seongnam office of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions. Both political parties realize that the issue is urgent. It is thus hard to understand why the ruling and opposition party do not work together to find out ways to resolve the issue. They should call people to the National Assembly, listen to their opinions and amend the act. Instead, they boycott the Assembly, wander about on the streets and ask for advice. This only makes one suspicious that they do not have the will to resolve the matter.

This is not the only urgent bill concerning people’s livelihoods. For each day the revision of the act on the national pension plan for civil workers is delayed, 1.2 billion won ($932 million) of financial burden is added. Many bills such as the ones on employment insurance or on lenders are pending. Democrats, however, are busy attending outdoor events and calling themselves defenders of the people. Former President Kim Dae-jung advised that it is better for them to attend the National Assembly and argue there.

A lawmaker must resolve conflict within the institution. If a lawmaker ignores his duties he can get into deep trouble. It is pathetic when lawmakers refuse to work, and business leaders need to try to calm them down. We hope that such a pathetic scene will not be repeated.
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