7 out of 10 firms concerned about unstable labor-management relations

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jan 3, 2018 - 19:54
  • Updated : Jan 3, 2018 - 19:54
Seven out of 10 South Korean firms have expressed concern about unstable labor-management relations this year, a business lobby said Wednesday, as the government is pushing to strengthen the interests of workers.

An outlook released by the Korea Employers Federation showed 72.8 percent of 236 firms surveyed said labor-management relations are less favorable to employers this year, compared to 2017.

The biggest concern is related to legal disputes over the controversial issue of ordinary wages, according to the federation, which represents the interests of South Korean companies.

In August, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that fixed bonuses and meal allowances are part of ordinary salaries.

In South Korea, most businesses pay their employees a lump-sum bonus on a regular basis, aside from their ordinary salary. Firms argue that if a bonus is counted as ordinary wages, they will be forced to shoulder much greater financial burden, as the level of other benefits and allowances, such as overtime or retirement pay, must be based on the adjusted ordinary pay.

The federation also said the biggest bone of contention in negotiations between labor and management is union demands for wage increases. (Yonhap)