July 04, 2019 11:14
Business leaders are calling for the minimum wage to be reduced to W8,000 this year after two years of excessive hikes. That would be a reduction of 4.2 percent from the current W8,350 (US$1=W1,170).
They met Wednesday and said the 29.1-percent hike over the last two years is forcing many small enterprises out of business.
The last time they called for a decrease in base pay was in 2010, when Korea was still reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis. Back then, they demanded a 5.8-percent decrease, but the government ended up raising it 2.8 percent.
Labor representatives earlier this month demanded another 19.8 percent, but the Korea Federation of SMEs and the Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise said one-third of small business owners are unable to pay the minimum wage even as it stands.
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