CJ Logistics apologizes for the deaths of delivery workers
CJ Logistics apologized on Thursday over the recent deaths of delivery workers.
Korea’s largest logistics company said it will come up with measures to improve the working environment for delivery workers, many of whom have complained of overwork and little pay.
“As a CEO, I feel responsible for the recent series of deaths of delivery workers and apologize for causing significant public concern,” said CJ Logistics CEO Park Keun-hee during a press event held in central Seoul on Thursday. “CJ Logistics management accepts this situation gravely and is investing all efforts on measures to stop such incidents from happening again.”
A delivery worker died after suffering from chest pain and difficulties breathing while delivering packages in Seoul on Oct. 8.
This year, 13 delivery workers have died.
CJ Logistics said it will add 4,000 new workers to help sort packages at sub terminals starting next month. This will cost the company an estimated 50 billion won ($44 million) annually.
The company plans to adopt flexible working hours to reduce time on the job and to make sure workers don’t deliver more than a reasonable number of packages per day.
The company also plans to make sure that all of its delivery workers are registered for industrial accident insurance by the first half of next year and will support fees covering annual medical checkups.
CJ Logistics said it will invest in the development of automation technologies to reduce delivery work and spend 10 billion won on improving the welfare of workers.
CJ Logistics has a total of 21,000 delivery workers, and only 1,000 of them are regular workers. The rest are contract employees. The contracted delivery workers are able to control the amount of work by reducing the number of areas they cover or by hiring part-timers for help.
But it’s not an easy choice to reduce the regions they cover since the number of packages delivered is directly linked to their income. And because new packages to be delivered arrive every day, workers usually try to deliver all the packages on the same day they pick them up from a sub terminal.
Hanjin Corporation made a public apology in a statement on Tuesday.
A temporary worker from Coupang who wrapped packages at a distribution center was found dead on Oct. 12. Coupang says it limits the work day to eight hours.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]