Part-Time Workers, Are We Sitting Ducks?

Observerl승인2014.05.21l0호

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When you become a freshman, you want to have a part-time job at least once. Some students have the job to make money, but most university students think it is a social experience and challenge without careful consideration. Having a job, they dream of meeting a co-worker and falling in love. However, there is a world of difference between dream and real life. In reality, people only think about their personal gain and loss in relationships and money matters. Without knowing much about basic rights that everyone should have, it is dangerous to have a part-time job. Let’s look into what the real conditions and problems of part-time environment are, what are solutions for this, and how you should protect yourself from being treated unlawfully by managers.


1. The real conditions of part-time job environment

1) Pay

There are too many part-time workers who do not receive minimum wages. According to actual condition survey from Federation of Korean Trade Unions in Daegu and Daegu Youth Community Union, 49.4% of part-time workers in Daegu do not receive the minimum wages.
Especially, part-time worker at a convenience store; it is thought to be receiving from 3,000 won to 3,500 won as the minimum wage, which is untrue.

Also, many workers cannot take holiday allowances even it is unfair. Payable holiday allowances mean that when someone is working more than 15 hours a week, they should receive pay of one day without working one day, regardless of their position as part-time worker and permanent employee. However, most part-time worker do not know that they can receive holiday allowances. 76.8% of part-time workers in Daegu did not receive payable holiday allowances.

They also could not get additional payment properly. 47.5% of part-time workers in Daegu did not receive additional payment which they are entitled to when working extended hours, night or holiday work. From going to work 10 or 20 minutes early and leaving work 1 hour late, to being forced to go to work even at Sunday, there are a number of examples when workers did not receive pay.


2) Part-time job environment

69.5% of part-time workers have experienced unlawful treatment from their employers. This was revealed from an investigation that was conducted by Albamon (http://www.albamon.com).
It means there is no difference in results from last year’s 70.2%. Mainly, part-time job working conditions did not be improved. There were instances such as unfair dismissal, an unreasonable request, inappropriate language like swear words and intimidation, body contact and so on.

2. Efforts to improve part-time Job environment

1) Part-time job bill of rights in Seoul

Seoul announced bill of rights which includes minimum wages and working hours to improve the working environment for the younger generations. This bill of rights forces employers to provide a fair and sensible working environment, Seoul finds and happy workplaces and supports them administratively.

In addition, Seoul concluded an agreement with franchise companies to be in effect immediately. Moreover it will monitor part-time job environment whether workplaces use the standard Seoul employment contract or not starting from October.


2) Alba Solidarity

Alba Solidarity is an organization whose purpose is to increase the hourly minimum wage up to 10,000 won to meet the standard of living.

This union was accepted as a part-time job labor union for the first in 2013. Staffs of union do their best to help unstable people like temporary employees and unemployed people’s welfare.

Also, they let people know about the up-to-date labor laws on their bulletin board homepage and answer questions for part-time job.


3) Alba-Chunkook

Every year to prepare job hunters right’s protection, Alba-Chunkook heads campaigns like the Healthy Part-Time Job’s Ten Commandments, which include working rights and precautions for working students.

The 2013 Healthy Part-time Job 5 Campaign talks about the 5 things that working students should know.

This year, Alba-Chunkook headed the 2014 Fastidious Healthy Part-time Job Campaign which lets people know about new trending schemes that workers should look out for such as cases like loan part-time jobs and unlawful pyramid schemes.


4) Youth Community Union

Youth Community Union is a labor union which was established in March 2010.

This union reveals the companies that did not pay minimum wages and makes an effort to protect working student’s welfare through counsel for the younger generation’s working rights.


Interview with Daegu Youth Community Union
Q)What is the Youth Community Union’s purpose of establishment?
A)

Problems of employment and youth unemployment were on the rise.

However there was no one to represent the youth, so people established this union to represent the voice of the youth.

In addition, we thought these labor problems will take actions through the labor union, so a social labor union like this was formed.


Q) What does Daegu Youth Community union do?

A)

Youth Community Union was first established in Seoul to drive nationalization.

Daegu Youth Community Union stands in for the workers in accusations of unfair working environment because it is hard to assert worker’s rights by themselves.

So we will investigate and reveal problems from unfair working environment, much like civil groups, though we are labor union.


Q) Is there any improvement case of part-time job environment?

A)

We researched reality of giving weekly holiday allowances of coffee franchises in Daegu and investigated franchises which break this.

Consequently, Davinci Coffee, Sleepless in Seattle, and Angel In-us Coffee were received corrective measures about giving weekly holiday allowances.

Based on this result, we will monitor centrally large franchises which have had enough resources to correct their working conditions.



Q) What efforts will the Daegu Youth Community Union do for students?

A)

I think students almost never improve their own problems through a vote. Therefore they think their labor problems as individual problems.

They can’t change their individual problems to reflect social structure policy problems.

Accordingly, the Daegu Youth Community will play a role of priming the water to make pumping easier for the workers.

That is, we will lead individual labor problems to make it a social conscious.



We are always at the bottom of the ladder between employer-employee relations when we are the employee.

Besides, there are many candidates who can replace our part-time job. It is true that submissive working environment make it hard to demand reasonable rights.

The government and organizations are making an effort to solve these problems nowadays, but a lot of problems still exist.

Surely, the best solution would have business owners take charge of fair wages for students without treating their efforts contemptuously and abusing students’ rights.

However the laws on part-time jobs are still weak nowadays, so we need to know our rights and protect ourselves about our wages.


Observer  vrai72@naver.com
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