The SMG announced a measure named Special City Respecting Workers’ Rights 2016, which includes seven promises, in an effort to improve workplace environments and job instability, as well as put an end to the infringement of workers’ rights.
Promise 1: One-stop settlement of cases associated with workers’ rights
Seoul City officials will help low-income workers (those earning 2.5 million or less a month) suffering delayed wage payment, unjustifiable dismissal, or industrial injury by providing free consulting and engaging in an administrative lawsuit on their behalf. The service will be provided even to those not recognized as workers under labor laws, such as sub drivers, motorcycle couriers, and those engaging in door-to-door delivery service.
Promise-2: Elimination of labor rights-related blind zones
The SMG will dispatch labor rights experts for those working at small-sized workplaces with less than five employees, for example convenience stores and PC bangs, to help workers not familiar with workers’ rights. The SMG will also provide interpreters to the seven migrant workers support centers in Seoul for a similar purpose.
In 2017, the SMG will provide resting places for sub drivers and motorcycle couriers. The SMG will also check to see what it can do for them in collaboration with municipal financial welfare consulting centers and facilities for workers’ health about their welfare and opportunities to find other jobs.
Promise-3: Expansion of the scope of beneficiaries of the living wage system
The SMG will gradually expand the scope of beneficiaries of the living wage system by having SMG-entrusted private institutions adopt the system, the first step of its kind taken by a local government. Effective July 2016, the system will apply to 1,480-plus workers at a total of 280 such institutions. The SMG will also provide incentives to private businesses taking part in the system.
Promise-4: Turning non-regular workers into regular workers
The step taken by the SMG for turning 7,296 non-regular workers under its control into regular workers, which was begun in 2012, will be completed by the end of 2016. Those under the control of autonomous district offices (635 in total) will also be turned into regular workers by 2020. The SMG will see to it that no non-regular workers are hired by bodies under its control.
Promise-5: Reduction of work hours
The SMG started taking measures for this in 2015 and will apply it to the Seoul Credit Guarantee Foundation and the Seoul Medical Center under its control. The SMG will apply these measures to all of the 19 SMG-invested institutions by 2018.
Promise-6: Adoption of a system having workers attend the Board of Directors meetings
This system has been adopted by 18 countries in Europe. The SMG will listen to people’s opinions at hearing sessions before adopting the system. The system will be first adopted by SMG-invested institutions, where an agreement has been reached between the workers and management on adoption of the system, in October 2016.
Promise-7: Establishment of a labor policy network
The SMG will turn SMG-entrusted workers’ rights centers into independent foundations by 2018.
They are expected to play the role of diffusing the SMG’s labor policies, including the application of a living wage and reduction of work hours, to the private sector.