KT to implement peak wage system

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KT to implement peak wage system

KT, the nation’s second-largest mobile carrier, said Wednesday it will implement a peak wage system starting next month and will extend its retirement age to 60 starting in 2016.

Since December, the company has been reviewing ways to increase job stability at the company, employ more young people and strengthen its competitiveness.

The issue of retirement escalated in April when KT pushed 8,300 employees into early retirement.

KT said at the time that all of the employees had volunteered to leave the company, but one of its labor unions, Human KT, criticized the move. It said the company had forced the employees to apply for retirement and threatened to transfer anyone who wanted to continue working to the provinces if they did not comply.

After the massive layoff and backlash against the downsizing, the telecom company decided to work with its labor groups turn its attention to stabilizing jobs.

KT’s unions and management compromised to implement a peak wage system, in which the employees’ wages are at the highest when they are 56, then gradually decline by 10 percent each year for the next four years until they reach 60 and retire.

The mobile carrier also said it will start a senior consultant system to hire retirees over the age of 60. KT said it would benefit from their experience and knowledge.

“Because the average age of employees is relatively high at KT compared to other conglomerates in Korea, many employees will be able to benefit from the extension of the retirement age,” said Lee Dae-san, head of KT’s management support division. “As a company that represents Korea, we will continue in our role of contributing to the employment stability of the aged as well as creating jobs for youths.”

To help young people work, KT said it will introduce a new system for part-time work, in which employees pick their own hours. The plan will allow employees to manage their time better while remaining within the legal working hours.

KT said it will continue its talks to improve the quality of life and working environment of its employees by making a team of management and labor union representatives to hold regular meetings.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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