Minimum wage for foreign seafarers to increase to Korean level by 2026

The minimum wage for foreign seafarers, which is about 81% of that of Korean seafarers, will be raised to the level of Korean seafarers in 2026.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced on the 19th that “the previous day, we reached a final agreement with the National Fisheries Cooperative Federation and the Seafarers’ Federation to raise the minimum wage for foreign seafarers to the level of Korean seafarers by 2026.”

The minimum wage for foreign seafarers this year is 1914,440 won, the same as that of land workers. It was below the minimum wage for land workers until 2020, but it has been the same since last year. The minimum wage for domestic seafarers this year is 2.63,100 won, which is 450,000 won higher than that of foreign seafarers. The minimum wage for seafarers is determined by a collective agreement between the Korea Fisheries Cooperative Federation and the Seafarers’ Union.

According to the agreement, the minimum wage for foreign seafarers next year will rise to 85% of that of Korean seafarers. After that, the gap will be reduced by 5 percentage points every year to reach the same level in 2026. Raising the minimum wage for foreign seafarers was also recommended by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea last year. The Human Rights Commission has recommended that improvement is necessary because there is a large wage gap compared to Koreans, and human rights violations such as arrears, abusive language, assault, and identity card seizure are frequent.

The reason why the employers, such as shipowners, agreed to a wage increase seems to have been due to the serious shortage of manpower. Ship owners have been asking the government to solve the problem of the shortage of migrant workers after the COVID-19 crisis.

Jeon Jae-woo, director of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, said, “We will do our best to ensure the rights and interests of foreign seafarers, who are increasingly dependent in Korea.”

Reference-www.labortoday.co.kr

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