Fired, fired, fired…
According to the results of a certain survey, 7 out of 10 Koreans said that the current economic situation is more difficult than the IMF bailout period. How will the economic downturn that everyone is feeling affect migrant workers?
Unilateral Dismissal of Industrial Accident Workers
Ms. Rokun, a Bangladeshi worker, entered Korea as an employment permit worker in September last year. While working at a manufacturing company in Seo-gu, Incheon, he suffered an industrial accident that broke his right fourth finger while carrying a can of paint. The hospital diagnosed Rokun that he had to recuperate for three weeks, and the company told him to rest without working for three weeks. After hearing about the company, Mr. Locoon was out of the hospital and was not working. However, there was no word from the company that they would pay for the hospital expenses, nor did they say that they would pay for maternity leave. The center told Mr. Rokun that he should apply for an industrial accident claim to the Korea Labor Welfare Service, but Mr. Rokun said that it is difficult to ask the company to apply for an industrial accident because it is difficult to find a job these days. The reason was that he had no place to go if he, who had just joined the company, told the company to apply for an industrial accident claim, but the company said that he would be fired after the period of industrial accident treatment was over because he seemed hated.
For that reason, Mr. Rokun, who was reluctant to ask the company to file an industrial accident claim, was unilaterally dismissed through the mouth of a co-worker before the three weeks that the company told him to take a break. It was because there was no work at the company.
Dismissal without notice to unpaid wages
It was on February 1st this year that Sri Lankan workers, Mr. Chamara, visited the center. He said that the company had notified Cha Mara and her group, who were uneasy because they had been unpaid for two and a half months, that they had no work at the company from January 15th and that they had to take a break until they returned to work.
Cha Mara and his party had been waiting for over a fortnight in the dormitory to resume work and pay their wages before coming to the center. However, the company that didn’t say anything came to the center because it was savage. However, the center contacted the company and found out about the situation. On January 15, when the company notified Cha Mara and her group to take a break from work, they already reported the termination of the labor contract with Cha Mara and her group to the Employment Support Center on January 15th. that was done The company did not tell Cha Mara and his party that the employment contract was terminated for more than 15 days even after unilateral dismissal.
Easier dismissal for re-employed workers
Samata, a Sri Lankan worker, arrived at Incheon International Airport on February 16. It was the way to re-enter Korea three months after leaving for Sri Lanka after signing a re-employment contract with the company after the three-year contract was over. However, Samata, who was about to go through airport screening, received a notice of non-entry from the immigration office. Samata, who could not understand English, contacted a co-worker and heard from a co-worker that the company had terminated his re-employment contract during the three months he was in Sri Lanka. Upon arriving at Incheon International Airport, Samata learned of such a fact and had no choice but to spend the night at the airport immigration office, not knowing what to do. In the company, the person in charge in charge of migrant workers has changed, and since the work was done by a full-time manager, they said they did not know them. And he nailed it, saying that the company didn’t have a job, so there was no need for additional staff.
Hire people instead of running machines?
The Gyeonggi cold wave is a direct blow to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and migrant workers, who are easily dismissed, suffer the most. The management is proud of the dismissal without even notifying the industrial accident workers, the workers whose wages are overdue, and the re-employed workers who have returned from their home countries. For Korean companies, migrant workers are nothing more than machines once they are used up. And the government’s institutions and policies are only encouraging this situation. At the end of last year, the government introduced a manpower supply and demand measure that would provide a subsidy of 1.2 million won only once if Korean workers were hired to replace migrant workers. In other words, it is the same as saying ’employ a human (Korean worker) instead of operating a machine (migrant worker)’.
The MB government’s offensive refusal to recognize migrant workers as people and workers with labor rights does not stop there. The government is trying to revise the Minimum Wage Act so that migrant workers who barely receive the minimum wage are paid too high, so that they can deduct accommodation and meals from the minimum wage. It is hardening the perception that SMEs are facing difficulties because migrant workers are being paid ‘unnecessarily high wages’, and that the reason they have no choice but to fire migrant workers is ‘unrealistically high wages’.
Therefore, the management side is always confident. Migrant workers who protest against unfair dismissal become ungrateful people who forgot to give benefits to the management.
And, the government with advanced human rights awareness (?), which said that it should abolish the slave tax for the 1% and guarantee human rights of the 1%, does not seem to be interested in the human rights and labor rights of other minorities. Otherwise, a government with high human rights sensitivity would be too accurate in recognizing the rights of machines and humans.
However, migrant workers are people.
And migrant workers are workers.