Temporary Workers Worried about Unstable Job Status

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), April 24, 2000 | Go to article overview

Temporary Workers Worried about Unstable Job Status


Temporary workers hired under the ``labor lease'' system are getting worried about job security since their two-year contracts expire in July.

Labor unions and employers have failed to narrow their difference on the extension of the two-year contract period.

The labor lease system was introduced in July 1998 in a desperate move to help companies cut labor costs following the 1997 financial turmoil and economic crisis.

The system bans businesses from recruiting a temporary worker for more than two years. The ban is designed to encourage employers to re-hire those short-term workers as regular employees.

Official statistics showed that an estimated 53,000 temporary workers were employed as of the end of last year. An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 of them will see their contracts expire in July.

Corporations, especially small- and medium-sized ones, are just trying to maintain the employment of temporary workers on an irregular basis -- beyond the maximum two-year employment period.

Many financially-strapped firms are demanding that the government revise related labor laws to extend the contract terms. They claimed that they cannot afford to place temporary workers on a regular payroll.

Employers said that if they are not allowed to lengthen the terms, they have no other choice but to terminate the employment of those workers whose contract period expires soon.

They are concerned that many companies will have to employ new temporary workers after laying off those with expiring contracts, thus causing a considerable damage to their business operations since newly-hired workers need training. …

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