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Next Year's Minimum Wage Set At ₩8,720 Amid Pandemic

Reporter Reporter Rosyn Park ㅣ 2020-07-14 09:57

Minimum Wage Commission chairman Park Jun-sik walks past a screen showing the final vote on a proposal to increase next year's hourly wage to 8,720 won.
Minimum Wage Commission chairman Park Jun-sik walks past a screen showing the final vote on a proposal to increase next year's hourly wage to 8,720 won.
The minimum wage in South Korea will rise to 8,720 won next year, representing the smallest-ever annual increase of 1.5 percent amid economic troubles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minimum Wage Commission reached the decision early Tuesday during its ninth plenary meeting.

The new wage was proposed by commissioners representing social interests as labor and management failed to bridge their gap.

It passed by a vote of 9-7 after seven other panel members, including all five recommended by the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, left the session, while the remaining four members affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions did not attend.

Employees had initially sought a 16.4 percent increase to 10,000 won per hour, while employers had sought a 2.1 percent cut to 8,410 won.

By law, the commission is required to present the new minimum wage to the labor minister, who is then required to announce it publicly by August 5.

The new wage will take effect on January 1.

Both labor and management can object to the agreed minimum wage in a bid to request a reevaluation by the commission.

A reevaluation has never occurred since the minimum wage was introduced in 1988.

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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