Corrupt hiring found at many public firms

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Corrupt hiring found at many public firms

More allegations of corrupt hiring practices at public companies are surfacing in the annual National Assembly audit.

Liberty Korea Party Rep. Park Wan-su obtained records of recent hires at companies affiliated with the Incheon International Airport Corporation. It found at least 14 suspicious cases of relatives of employees applying for contract jobs at the companies with inside information that they will be promoted to full-time positions in the near future.

“One of these cases concern an employee at an affiliated security company whose four nieces and nephews were hired as contract workers in August 2017, soon after the Incheon International Airport Corporation had announced it will upgrade 10,000 contract workers at its affiliated companies to permanent payrolls,” said a statement issued by Rep. Park’s office on Friday. “This employee has since quit his job.

“Given the airport corporation’s plans to upgrade contract workers to salaried employees through 2020,” the office said, “it is expected that more relatives of employees will try to get hired as contract workers and try to get promoted.”

The Moon Jae-in administration announced a plan to upgrade contract workers in the public sector last year, following a visit by Moon to Incheon Airport in May 2017 right after his election. Moon met with contract workers and pledged salaried positions for some 10,000 contract workers at the airport.

“Moon’s sudden announcement is where all of this trouble started,” Rep. Park said in a written statement Friday. “All public corporations must be investigated.”

The office of Liberty Korea Party Rep. Kim Seok-ki also found that at least 19 relatives of employees of the Korea Land and Geospatial Informatix Corporation, run by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, were promoted from contract positions to the permanent payroll within the last three years.

Assembly members are investigating public corporations in the ongoing parliamentary audit after an allegation rose that former contract workers at Seoul Metro, a public company run by the Seoul city government in charge of subway lines No. 1 through No. 8, were recently upgraded to permanent payroll with the possible help of inside information.

Liberty Korea Party Rep. You Min-bong obtained records from Seoul Metro and said there were at least 108 cases of employees with relatives among the 1,285 contracted workers upgraded to permanent hires in March. The lawmaker raised an allegation that they may have advised their relatives to take contract jobs because they knew of the plans to upgrade the workers.

Additional audit records on Seoul Metro have since surfaced, suggesting that there may be hundreds more involved in the hiring malpractice.

Seoul Metro CEO Kim Tae-ho apologized for the scandal in a parliamentary audit hearing at Seoul City Hall on Thursday. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon in the hearing said he will take appropriate measures if there were indeed serious hiring irregularities at the company.

Opposition lawmakers accused the Moon Jae-in administration of turning a blind eye to the alleged malpractices.

“The government has been unconcerned about these malpractices and corruption,” said Hong Seong-moon, spokesperson for the Party for Democracy and Peace, in a written statement on Thursday. “Whatever happened to President Moon’s election pledge to build a just society?”

“There are more and more revelations of employees’ relatives being hired with inside information not only at Seoul Metro but at public corporations run by the central government,” said Liberty Korea Party Rep. Yoon Young-seok in a press conference at the National Assembly on Friday.

“The party intends to open up a center where people can report similar cases. We will look into this and ensure that no such malpractices are repeated.”

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