SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The government’s ‘zero irregular workers’ initiative has come to fruition for the first time, as the Incheon International Airport Corporation has decided to give 30 percent of its irregular workers permanent employment status.
The Moon administration’s push to expand the number of regular workers in the public sector has enjoyed its first success, as labor and management at Incheon International Airport Corporation dramatically came to an agreement on Wednesday.
The move to go forward with hiring some of the irregular workers as permanent employees is likely to affect the negotiation process of permanent employees at other public organizations in the future.
Since President Moon visited Incheon Airport back in May and declared the ‘age of zero irregular workers in the public sector’, the Incheon International Airport Corporation has been widely seen as the testing ground for the current government.
The corporation launched a task force consisting of experts and members of the labor union in the same month, as part of efforts to find common ground with labor.
It was a tough few months however, as disagreements ensued over issues such as the number of irregular workers eligible for permanent employment and the involvement of affiliates.
The lack of guidelines set by the government also emerged as a serious issue, with criticism that the ‘zero irregular workers’ policy fell short on details.
It was reported that the Incheon International Airport Corporation initially offered to hire 854 workers permanently based on a study it commissioned, while the labor union called for the corporation to hire 4,504 irregular workers.
As the corporation faces the challenge of funding the financial expenses required to give permanent employment to hundreds of workers, some argue the decision might have been rushed and politically calculated, and could even worsen the relationship with current regular workers in a worst-case scenario.
Though an agreement has been reached, with the corporation having promised to hire around 3,000 irregular workers, some say the ongoing tension between labor and management at Incheon International Airport Corporation could derail the negotiation process in the upcoming months.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)