‘Splitting working hours’ nullifies the effect of raising the minimum wage

▲ KCTU Labor and the World

Among non-regular workers, low-wage workers earning less than two-thirds of the median wage decreased on an hourly basis, but increased on a monthly average wage basis. Some argue that the division of working hours should be regulated, which neutralizes the effect of raising the minimum wage.

On the morning of the 25th, the Democratic Labor Research Institute affiliated with the KCTU held a research presentation under the theme of ‘Unequal Society and Response to Labor’ at the KCTU in Jung-gu, Seoul.

As a result of analysis by Lee Chang-geun, a research fellow at the Institute for Democratic Labor and Development based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) statistics, the number of low-wage workers among non-regular workers decreased from 42.1% in 2003 to 33.7% last year on an hourly wage basis, but 41.2 on an average monthly wage basis. % to 48.8%. Among regular workers, the number of low-wage workers decreased from 20.5% to 8.1% on an hourly basis and from 12.2% to 5.5% on an average hourly wage basis during the same period.

Research Fellow Chang-geun Lee said, “In terms of the average monthly wage, the trend of inequality appears to be deepening.” The number of workers who are not guaranteed adequate working hours involuntarily is increasing, which has a negative impact on the average monthly wage. The relative working hours of non-regular workers compared to regular workers decreased from 90% in 2003 to 77% last year. The average working hours per week was 50.2 hours for regular workers and 45 hours for non-regular workers in 2003, but the gap widened to 42.7 hours for regular workers and 32.7 hours for non-regular workers last year.

Even if the minimum wage is raised, it is difficult to have a real wage increase effect unless the illegal division of working hours is regulated. It is pointed out that the legal and institutional regulations on the division of working hours should be thoroughly reviewed. Research Fellow Lee Chang-geun said, “If a worker goes to work every day and works 6 or 7 hours, it is virtually impossible to do other work to make up for the lack of income. It is necessary to strengthen the effectiveness of the minimum wage policy by regulating illegal tricks such as shortening, staggering work hours, and strengthening labor intensity.”

In addition, as a policy alternative to resolve wage inequality, △Expand policies to resolve low-middle wages such as the fair wage system in the construction industry and safe freight car fare system △Promote initial business negotiations to expand the middle wage class and resolve inequality, improve the system to expand the effect of collective agreements △Product A plan to improve the relationship between subcontractors and subcontractors and to increase the bargaining power of SMEs was proposed to close the gap in the market.


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