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.