June 23, 2015 12:39
Konkuk University Medical Center, which has become one of the hot spots of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, plans to cut wages by 20 percent after patient traffic plummeted. The hospital's labor union representing 1,400 workers is up in arms.
A hospital spokesman said, "Before the outbreak, around 3,000 people were treated at the hospital every day, but that has dwindled to 1,000." The number of operations also declined from around 90 a day to just 20.
Hospital management also claims repeated disinfection costs a lot of money.
One nurse at the hospital said, "This is the first time in my 20 years at the hospital that my pay was cut, and there’s no telling how many more cuts are planned."
The spokesman said while it is unclear how long the pay cuts will continue, staff will be reimbursed once the outbreak ends.
But Yoo Joo-dong, head of the hospital's labor union said, "This month's wages are for work done in May, which preceded the MERS outbreak, and a pay cut constitutes an illegal refusal to give staff what they are owed."
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