SEOUL, November 16 (Korea Bizwire) – More than 10,000 security guards are at risk of losing their job after the new minimum wage hike takes effect in less than two months, a new study has revealed.
With the increased minimum wage of 7,530 won taking effect next year, growing personnel expenses could see more apartment blocks do away with security guards, according to a survey by a special committee dedicated to the rights of apartment building security guards.
The committee, which consists of members of civic groups including the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, held a press conference on Wednesday announcing the findings in front of the National Assembly Building, while urging the government to step in and help.
The action committee found earlier this month that only 2,196 of 5,310 security guards in Seoul have guaranteed jobs for next year, after conducting in-person interviews.
Among those surveyed, 139 either confirmed that they would be fired next year or said they expected to lose their job, making up 5.9 percent of all respondents, while 2,418 said they weren’t sure as of yet.
Going by the figures, the jobs of over 10,000 apartment building security guard jobs across the country are thought to be at risk next year.
In Seoul alone, 2,083 security guards at apartment buildings could lose their job.
“Many of the undecided apartment blocks are expected to decide on the size of personnel downsizing sometime in December,” the committee said.
“Since the death of the security guard Lee Man-soo, the issue of security guards has been in the spotlight, pressuring apartment block committees to refrain from staff cuts.”
However, the action committee argues that staffing levels of apartment building security guards are already at the bare minimum and that work overload is another serious issue that needs addressing.
In Eunpyeong New Town for instance, 143 security guards are on a rotating shift to watch an overwhelming 345 apartment buildings, which means one security guard is responsible for nearly 5 buildings on average.
“Security guards who are already working under poor conditions now could lose their job. The government needs to look into whether mass layoffs are occurring, and come up with measures to improve the treatment of security guards and secure long-term job stability,” the committee said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)