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The Minimum Wage Commission turns labor-friendly

Posted May. 12, 2018 07:40,   

Updated May. 12, 2018 07:40


The government has appointed new members of the Minimum Wage Commission, with the positions of public interest groups within the commission all replaced with liberal members. The latest change hints at a possibility that the country’s legal minimum wage will also hike next year as it did early this year (16.4 %).

The Ministry of Employment and Labor named 26 new members of the 27-member Minimum Wage Commission on Friday except one standing member. The public sector members have all been replaced with liberals. Ryu Jang-soo, professor of Economics at Pukyong National University who has been reportedly nominated for the head of the commission, is considered to be center-right as he had actively participated in the previous Park Geun-hye administration’s works for drawing employment policies.

Reshuffling the commission has led to expectations that the minimum wage of next year will also see a steep rise. Under the law, all of the 27 members are obliged to go through discussion and negotiation until they reach a final decision taking account for various economic conditions such as an inflation rate. Yet, there have been members representing the public that have held the casting votes, determining the rate in the end. Also, appointed by the government, the public interest members could not be free from the government’s influence. An official from the business circle pointed out that it was problematic to reduce the number of economic experts while adding a great number of specialists in labor and welfare.

Sung-Yeol Yoo ryu@donga.com