JEONJU, Apr. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – A group of 70 cleaning workers from Jeonju University protested against the university’s decision to raise their hourly wage by no more than 90 won (US$ 0.08) and discontinue a free bus service, which has been operating for the past 20 years, on April 9 in front of the main building at the university.
The group of workers initially demanded that Jeonju University and their contractor raise the hourly wage by 420 won (US$ 0.38) to 6,000 won (US$ 5.47). However, the three parties could not reach an agreement over eight rounds of negotiations.
To make matters worse, the university notified the workers that their free bus service will be halted due to budget shortages. The workers said that although their hourly wage will be raised by 90 won as the university has proposed, real wages will actually decrease by 300 won (US$ 0.27) since they will now have to spend 2,400 won (US$ 2.19) daily to use public transportation. Faced with the workers’ backlash, the university has prolonged the operation of the buses until June.
Jeong Jeong-Soo from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said that the government’s recommended hourly wage for university cleaners last year was 6,945 won (US$ 6.33), and the actual hourly wage paid by universities in the Seoul Metropolitan area has increased to around 6,500 won (US$5.93) recently.
By J. W. Choi (email@example.com)