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Korea raises minimum wage for 2017

Korea's minimum wage has been set at 6,470 won ($5.70) per hour for next year, up 7 percent from this year, the labor ministry said Saturday.

The new minimum wage translates to 51,760 won a day for those who work eight hours a day and some 1.35 million won a month for those who work full time.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor said the pay raise will affect an estimated 3.36 million workers in the nation.

Minimum Wage Council Chairman Park Jun-sung (center) and other members of the council conduct a briefing at the Ministry of Employment and Labor in Sejong Saturday. (Yonhap)
Minimum Wage Council Chairman Park Jun-sung (center) and other members of the council conduct a briefing at the Ministry of Employment and Labor in Sejong Saturday. (Yonhap)

The decision made by a trilateral council of representatives from labor, management and the general public was reached amid discord between labor and management.

All nine representatives from labor left the meeting on Friday night, showing discontent over the rate of increase. 

"We expected a double-figure pay rise, if not 10,000 won," said the Federation of Korea Trade Unions. "The decision does not take into consideration those suffering due to a low income." 

The Korea Employers' Federation, meanwhile, said the 7.3 percent raise will only put more burden on smaller companies with tough economic conditions. 

The labor ministry, which oversees the council, is set to formally announce the minimum wage for next year on Aug. 5, after a 20-day objection period for both labor and management. (Yonhap)

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