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The Minds of Koreans Seen on Petitions Filed to the Ombudsman of Korea

The Minds of Koreans Seen on Petitions Filed to the Ombudsman of Korea

Posted August. 09, 2005 03:07,   


Economic Stagnation—

A day worker, Mr. Cho (41), filed a petition that construction company M had not been paying his wages.

“From April to September in 2004, I worked for 12 hours every day under the condition of receiving my daily pay of 70,000 won. For day workers in construction like me who live only on their daily wages, 2.345 million won is a fortune. How frustrated must I be to file a petition and complain?”

Various petitions filed to the Ombudsman of Korea regarding unpaid wages, loss of rent deposit money, and franchise business failures reflect the dull economy.

As of late April, 46 percent of the filed petitions are demanding for lost wages or retirement pay such as in Mr. Cho’s case. This figure was 38 percent in 2003 and 44.6 percent in 2004.

An official from the Ministry of Labor said, “With the current economic slump continuing for three years, the number of businesses that cannot earn profits is increasing, hence leading to increased number of petitions requesting unpaid wages.”

Petitions of rent deposit money losses were also steady – 83 in 2003, 89 in 2004, and 24 (as of late April) in 2005.

According to Dankook University’s Real Estate Studies professor Song Myung-kyu, “With the economic recession and a plunge in deposits, the tenants have a difficult time in receiving their deposits back, hence the position of tenants and landowners has reversed. That is why lawsuits to get their deposit money back are not decreasing.”

Petitions concerned with franchise businesses have also surged by about 20 percent compared to last year.

Citizens` Coalition for Economic Justice Research Center Director Kwon Young-joon said, “In many cases, early retirees jump into the franchise businesses for a stable income, but many of them fail due to the economic recession and the lack of management knowledge.”


There are various petitions asking to re-investigate a lawsuit, or claiming that the victim and wrongdoer of traffic accidents were switched during the process of investigation.

When viewing petitions filed via the internet during 2003~2005, civil and criminal judicial affairs’ comprise up to 15 percent of the total number of petitions every year, the most of all petitions.

Out of these, the number of petitions complaining of an unfair biased investigation, wrongful delay of investigation, and requesting a re-investigation of a lawsuit, increased from 39.8 percent in 2003, to 48.2 percent in 2004, and as of late April 2005, to 40.8 percent.

People think that investigation of the police prosecution is not just, and have brought this to the petition window.

Wonkwang University Police Administration Professor Yang Moon-seung said, “Since restrictions and punishment follow the field of criminal and judicial affairs, mistrust emerges more strongly than in other fields.”

Yi-Young Cho lycho@donga.com