Hit? Right and hold on!

hit? Right and hold on!
 Song Min-ju (Counseling Team Leader)
In October 2011, Nepalese worker R visited the center due to assault at the workplace.
Because the product was defective, a co-worker threw a bundle of PCB boards weighing about 1 to 2 kg and injured his right leg. When Mr. R informed the business owner of the assault and said that his right leg hurt after being assaulted, the business owner only put a disposable bandage on the injured part. Fearing that he would be assaulted again, Mr. R asked his business owner to change his business, but the business owner shouted, ‘You can’t change your business,’ and shouted out loudly to return to Nepal or work for another company because it is illegal. In response to the employer’s stubborn response, Mr. R went to the competent employment center and appealed, but the competent employment center only insisted on ‘go back to the company’.
After consulting Mr. R, the center tried to talk to the business owner. The employer still insisted that there was no assault in the workplace, and that evening when Mr. R visited the center, Mr. R was kicked out of the dormitory.

In response to the management’s stubborn reaction, the center and R filed a complaint to the police station for assault and received a related investigation. On the evening of the police interrogation, the detective in charge reported over the phone that the perpetrator was willing to settle. However, during the call with the center, the perpetrator said, ‘He did nothing wrong, just that the PCB he was holding in his hand fell off’ and ‘he tried to settle because he was pitiful’. It was an unacceptable insult to Mr. R, who was waiting for the assailant’s sincere apology.

In the end, the center and Mr. R decided that the perpetrator had no intention of agreement, and continued the assault complaint, and went to the competent employment center to change the workplace. Article 25 (1) of the Act on Employment of Foreign Workers 2. Suspension, closure, and other When it is recognized that it is impossible to continue working at the workplace for reasons not attributable to the foreign worker, a complaint is filed on the grounds of assault.

However, the competent employment center filed a complaint with the competent labor office for violation of Article 8 (Prohibition of Assault) of the Labor Standards Act, and informed that the fact of assault must be proven as a result of the investigation. Furthermore, he filed a complaint to the police for an assault case and argued that the change of business was not permitted based on the contents of the investigation. It was an incomprehensible measure in light of the practice that the competent Labor Office treated the assault case as a matter other than professional investigation and did not conduct the investigation faithfully, or handed over the investigation itself to the competent police station due to the burden of the case. . In addition, it can be said that the work method of the job center, which used to judge whether to change workplaces by referring to the police investigation results regarding assault cases, has become stricter and conservative in a way that is very unfavorable to migrant workers. 
In response, the center formally raised an issue with the Ministry of Labor, but it was not accepted, and only the reply that the existing job center’s working method was wrong was returned.

In order to solve the problem, the center first sued the employer for assault, violation of overtime work restrictions, and late payment of wages (the basic wage and ordinary wage are 1.2 million won in the labor contract, but the actual amount paid is the minimum wage) to the competent labor office. did. In the end, police and labor complaints were filed at the same time for the same assault case.

If you file a complaint with the Labor Office, it may take more than a month for the relevant results to come out. The problem is that during that period, Mr. R cannot leave the workplace arbitrarily. Because of this problem, when Mr. R asked the person in charge of the competent job center how to wait and where to stay during the process of filing a complaint with the Labor Administration, the person in charge calmly said, ‘You can stay at the company. It meant that you should work for the company with the perpetrator who assaulted you and wait for the results. 

In the end, Mr. R was admitted to the fact that he suffered assault through the prosecution investigation following the police investigation, and the Labor Office assault investigation was completed at the level of referring to the results of the prosecution investigation. One month and nine days after being assaulted, Mr. R was able to get permission to change his workplace, but he had to bear all the physical and emotional damage he had suffered. In particular, the labor agency having jurisdiction over the arrears of wages, which was sued along with the assault case, made an incomprehensible judgment and made Mr. R’s heart even heavier. Mr. R’s standard labor contract was written to pay 1.2 million won as his basic salary, and Mr. R trusted the contract and entered the country from Nepal. However, the Labor Administration rejected the employer’s accusations by accepting the employer’s claim that ‘the standard labor contract was arbitrarily drawn up for entry into Korea and no labor contract was signed’.
Under the Employment Permit System, a contract officially recognized and sealed by both sides was not recognized as an official contract by the Labor Office, and it was a decision that was not understood by common sense.
The Center has filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, and is currently in the process of filing a civil lawsuit regarding the validity of the contract.

For the past seven years, restrictions on workplace change under the Employment Permit System have been a problem, but they are still holding back migrant workers. Some business owners came to Korea to make money, but they argued that they could never change their workplaces during the contract period, asking how they could raise money if they change factories frequently. Previously, labor contracts were signed in units of one year, but now the contracts are in units of three years, making it more difficult to change workplaces. As the Foreigner Employment Act is changed to benefit the business owner, problems related to the change of workplace are occurring more and more. When such a problem arose, migrant workers often visited the job center or the Ministry of Labor in person. However, rather than dealing with the problem properly, job centers often send migrant workers back to their workplaces after only hearing about the employer. If you want to change company, you are given two documents: a change in employment report and a confirmation of the reason for the change of workplace, and only tells them to get the seal of the employer. If the employer does not give the seal, so they go to the job center again, they just insist on getting the seal again. This does not mean that competent departments such as job centers should only consider the position of workers unconditionally. However, one should not conclude that workers are telling lies by only listening to the employer’s side of the story. From a neutral standpoint, I just want to hear and judge from both sides and explain in detail whether the workers’ arguments are valid or not. 

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