Management no fan of labor bills

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Management no fan of labor bills

Nearly 90 percent of managers are concerned that a package of labor-related bills, including one that would reduce the maximum number of work hours, pending in the National Assembly would be an additional burden on businesses, according to a survey by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry?showed.

The KCCI surveyed 308 companies about labor legislation scheduled to be passed during the 30-day special session that began June 3, and 87.1 percent of respondents said the measures would hinder management.

“Currently, it is possible to have employees work up to 68 hours per week, including the standard 40 hours, eight hours each on Saturday and Sunday, and 12 hours overtime,” the KCCI said. “But when the National Assembly passes a bill that restricts weekend working hours, employers will be able to extend employees’ hours?to only?52 per week. This will cause production disruptions or financial burdens resulting from additional facility investment. Employees, on the other hand, will get less pay due to shortened work hours and this may eventually spark labor-management disputes.”

Lawmakers in both the ruling and opposition parties are discussing restrictions on holiday work, including weekends, and counting it as overtime. Of companies responding to the KCCI survey, 52.3 percent cited reduced work hours as their biggest concern, followed by tougher requirements for layoffs (15.9 percent), and substitute holidays (15.6 percent).

“If labor regulations are tightened, it will be difficult for the administration to meet its goal to achieve a 70 percent employment rate,” said Park Jong-gap, a senior KCCI official.

In a separate survey released Wednesday, the KCCI said economic democratization is needed in some areas, but the current level of discussion at the National Assembly has overreached. The organization cited a survey showing that 45 percent of 302 large and small companies agreed.

BY KIM MI-JU [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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