Korea seeks to reform labor structure in shipbuilding industry










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Korea seeks to reform labor structure in shipbuilding industry

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho speaks during a meeting with officials from economy-related ministries in Seoul in this photo released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on October 19.  Yonhap
Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho speaks during a meeting with officials from economy-related ministries in Seoul in this photo released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on October 19. Yonhap


Korea plans to seek structural change in its shipbuilding industry’s labor market, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, amid growing criticism of shipbuilders taking advantage of subcontractors.

“Recently, the general conditions of our shipbuilding industry have improved, with the number of orders increasing following the recovery of the global shipbuilding market, coupled with higher prices,” Finance Minister Choo Kyung said. -ho during a meeting with ministries related to the economy. .

Choo, however, pointed out that the industry also faces challenges, including increased technological competition with China and Japan, as well as lingering structural problems in its labor market.

The minister added that the deep-rooted rift in the working environment between shipbuilders and their subcontractors has weighed on the productivity of the industry, ultimately leading to a drain of skilled workers.

Department of Labor data showed that workers in shipbuilding industry subcontractors earned only 50-70% of the wages earned by those in contractors.

However, the average number of working days in the year is 270 days for the employees of subcontractors, while it barely reaches 180 days for those of subcontractors.

Thus, Korea plans to improve unfair agreements between contractors and subcontractors and reorganize the existing salary system to take into account functions and skills, the finance ministry said.

Korea will also seek to improve the working environment and welfare of related enterprises, attracting more young people to work in the industry.

Other measures include improving visa regulations to allow more foreign employees to work in the shipbuilding industry and promoting around 3,000 additional local workers a year.

Korea plans to invest about 140 billion won ($98 million) in the development of key technologies in environmentally friendly and autonomous ships in 2023, the finance ministry added.

The latest measures come as Korea aims to bolster the competitiveness of its key industries amid looming concerns about a recession.

“While the high level of inflation continues, downside risks to the global economy have also increased, with major countries rolling out intense belt-tightening measures,” Choo said, adding that the challenges for the Korean economy will persist for a “considerable” period. period. (Yonhap)


























































































































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