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`Gov`t to Help Protect Non-regular Workers From Layoffs`

`Gov`t to Help Protect Non-regular Workers From Layoffs`

Posted February. 05, 2009 08:30,   


Labor Minister Lee Young-hee said yesterday that the government will help non-regular workers from being laid off because of labor law.

“Though the labor sector and opposition parties are opposed to the revision (of the Non-Regular Workers Act), the most important thing is to survive the economic crisis,” he said.

“The government will block without fail companies from dismissing non-regular workers under the pretext of the law that sets the maximum employment period of such workers at two years.”

In an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, Lee said, “Few companies will seek to upgrade non-regular workers into permanent ones amid the economic crisis. Since chances are high that companies feel burdened over hiring non-regular workers permanently due to the Non-Regular Employees Act, the government needs to minimize such a practice.”

He warned that unless their employment period is extended, some 970,000 workers could lose their jobs without being prepared over a period of more than one year after July.

“Treatment of non-regular workers is a problem because the labor market for regular workers is very rigid and overly protected,” he said. “Hence, companies are controlling their employment and pay by using the non-regular employment system as a buffer.”

Lee added, “Most unions must admit that they excessively protect regular workers (over non-regular workers) to guarantee their job security. Unions themselves must initiate the effort to reduce the gap between regular and non-regular workers.”