Although Hyundai Heavy Industries introduced the project partner system, which is a short-term contract company, to nurture the supply team, the situation in which the company fails to pay workers’ wages during the contract is repeated. Some argue that the low down payment and short-term contract structure should be improved. Project partners have been established since last year. This is an improvement plan introduced by Hyundai Heavy Industries when workers in the supply team, located at the bottom of the multi-level subcontracting structure in the shipbuilding industry, were exposed to various risks such as delayed payment of wages and industrial accidents while working without even writing a labor contract.
“Project partner, the essence is the same as the quantity team”
It is pointed out that the background of repeated wage arrears is the fault of the project partner, which operates like a quantity team. The ‘official in-house partner’ contracts with the Shared Growth Office of Hyundai Heavy Industries, but departments that require labor, such as construction and painting, contract with the project partner. As a short-term contract company for less than one year, the labor force is usually sought whenever there is a job.
An official from the Hyundai Heavy Industries branch of the Metal Workers’ Union said, “It’s just a blindfold that the main subcontractors contract directly and are not a multi-level subcontracting structure. Yun Yong-jin, deputy secretary general of the Hyundai Heavy Industries branch of the labor union, said, “Existing quantity team leaders often take on the role of project partners’ representatives, so they lack financial power and management ability. If you can’t do it and fall asleep,” he explained. As of last June, there were 39 project partners in the shipbuilding and offshore sector of Hyundai Heavy Industries, and most of them had fewer than 50 employees. Sometimes there are less than 5 people.
“Low donations, the cause of arrears in wages”
A project partner can be converted into an official in-house partner within one year from the date of initial registration. According to Hyundai Heavy Industries on this day, from last year to this year, about 10 of them were converted into official in-house partners.
However, the in-house subcontracting branch said that it was questionable whether it would be possible to operate it even if it was converted into an in-house partner company. Deputy Secretary-General Yoon said, “The preferred company went out of business after 10 months.” “If the primary agency evaluates the company and converts it into an official in-house partner, the donations received from the primary agency are also reduced, and it is difficult to operate the company with this money.” . HHI pays the project in-house partners, including various welfare and welfare expenses, as a donation, but excludes official in-house partners. The amount of money that workers hold in their hands is rather high for project partners. In addition, the 4 major insurance delinquency is a problem that occurs not only in project partners, but also in formal in-house partners. The union estimated that the four major insurance delinquency amounts at the end of October at Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Dong-gu, Ulsan were 46 billion won.
An official from the Hyundai Heavy Industries branch said, “The non-payment of wages is a phenomenon that occurs due to the low unit price of the established funds. will,” he explained.
Some say it is too early to evaluate the performance of project partners. Park Jong-sik, an associate research fellow at the Korea Labor Institute, said, “It is true that the contract stage has been reduced. I think we will be able to evaluate it after a little while,” he said. Regarding the 4 major insurance delays at partner companies, Associate Research Fellow Park said, “The government’s policy of deferring the payment of the 4 major insurances in areas with employment crisis has failed. But in the end, I have to pay a lot of money.”
A Hyundai Heavy Industries spokesperson said, “It is difficult to talk about individual circumstances as the closure of an individual company is determined by several management factors.” “The quantity team is completely different from project partners,” he said. “The same as in-house partners, project partners are evaluated according to various criteria ranging from overall management such as selection of companies and contract maintenance to safety and quality processes.” explained.