S. Korea fixes minimum wage for 2014

By 윤민식
  • Published : Aug 1, 2013 - 09:26
  • Updated : Aug 1, 2013 - 09:26
South Korea's minimum wage has been set at 5,210 won ($4.66) per hour for next year, up slightly over 7 percent from this year, the labor ministry said Thursday.

Earlier this month, a trilateral council of government, labor and management representatives agreed to raise the country's minimum wage for 2014 by 7.2 percent from the current 4,860 won per hour.

The increase plan was confirmed as no objections or complaints were raised by labor and management, the ministry said, adding that it will make a public announcement on Friday.

The hourly wage translates to 41,680 won a day for those who work eight hours a day and 1.08 million won a month for those who work 40 hours a week.

According to the council, the pay raise will affect the nation's estimated 2.56 million workers struggling with low income.

Both labor and management have shown discontent over the compromise plan. Initially, the labor circle demanded a 21.6 percent increase from this year's hourly wage of 4,860 won, while the management proposed a freeze.

The labor circle complains that 5,210 won per hour is still not enough to narrow the widening wage gap in the country and stabilize the lives of low-income workers, while the management says a 7.2 percent raise will put too much of a burden on smaller companies struggling with tough economic conditions. (Yonhap News)