Lotte chairman reiterates plan for more jobsLotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin reaffirmed his intent to expand the company’s employment and improve corporate culture on Thursday.
Shin’s promise at a ceremony Thursday comes at a time when the new government under President Moon Jae-in is aggressively releasing plans and pledges to create jobs and shift temporary workers to full-time status.
The Lotte ceremony marks the second anniversary of the group’s proclamation to create a favorable labor-management culture under which labor unions of all affiliates and management leaders would promote cooperation.
“There’s a saying that creating new jobs is the best welfare for the people. Lotte will keep up efforts so that profit growth can lead to more employment,” said Shin during his opening speech at Lotte Hotel’s Jamsil branch in southern Seoul. According to Shin, Lotte has more than 350,000 employees at its subsidiaries, including those from contractors.
In October, Lotte already pledged to expand employment as part of the corporate overhaul plan released after Chairman Shin became involved in the political scandal surrounding Korea’s former president. The details of the blueprint were to hire 70,000 workers by 2021 and shift 10,000 temporary workers to full time by 2019.
“In order to create new jobs and contribute to the economy, Lotte will continue efforts to fulfill the employment-related promises we made in October,” said Hwang Kak-gyu, president of Lotte Group in charge of the corporate innovation office.
Last year, Lotte Group hired a total of 13,300 employees. “We’re facing several issues like frozen relations with China on the Thaad issue and the investigation on our chairman, but still we intend to hire new entries this similar to last year’s level,” said a company spokesman.
Lotte Group’s focus on employment welfare policy in the last year was more family-friendly - maternity leave was extended from one to two years and the use of paternity leave was made obligatory. As a result, all 35 Lotte subsidiaries received the government’s certificate for family-friendly enterprises last year.
The subsidiary to have most contributed to establishing a favorable labor-management culture was Lotte Department Store. The retail giant’s focus also was on families: Work hours for pregnant workers were reduced and leaves for parents with children entering elementary school or preparing for the college entrance exam were extended.
In May 2015, executives of the Lotte Group’s affiliates and unions released a joint statement that promised cooperation, which would serve as the base to create jobs and promote a better working environment.
Under the initiative, each Lotte subsidiary established a task force formed from both labor union members and company managers to actively solicit opinions from their respective fields.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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