South Korea abandons the 69-hour weekly work plan after the youth revolution

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March 20, 2023 | 12:59 p.m


South Korea has backed away from a plan to extend the work week to 69 hours after a near-total revolt by the country’s youth.

Five years ago, South Korea Reducing the number of hours its geeks are allowed to work To 52 in total – 40 regular hours, then 12 hours of paid overtime.

But earlier this month, a conservative government in the country Tried to raise the lid after Pressure from business groups that want to increase productivityAccording to CNN Business.

The youth had none of it, The Washington Post reported.

President Yoon Seok Yul’s popularity immediately plummeted among Millennials and Gen Z workers: Just four days after his administration announced the plan, his disapproval rates among those age groups jumped to 79 and 66%, respectively, according to the Washington Post.

The angry backlash forced the government to reconsider the proposal.

Young workers torpedoed a plan to increase the work cap in South Korea to 69 hours a week.
AFP via Getty Images
South Korea’s labor issues mirror those in China and Japan, both of which have had problems with people working themselves to death.
Future publication via Getty Images

“The president finds 60-plus hour work weeks unrealistic, even including overtime,” The Washington Post quoted Ahn Sang-hoon, a senior presidential adviser, as saying. “The government will listen more carefully to who’s views [Millennials and Generation Z] Workers.”

South Koreans are already relatively workaholics, logging an average of 1,915 hours per worker per year, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Members of Korean trade unions have long rallied to protect workers’ rights in the country.
AP
Many in South Korea say they are still toiling above the roof of government.
Getty Images

Only people in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico worked more in 2021, the organization said. The United States averaged about 1,791 hours per year by comparison.

South Korea began limiting working hours in 2018 after hundreds died from overwork the previous year. By week.

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The phenomenon – known in the country as “guaroza” or “death by overwork” – included deaths from heart attacks, strokes, industrial accidents or sleep-deprived driving, The Week reported.

South Koreans are indeed relative workaholics, logging an average of 1,915 hours per worker per year, according to the data.
AFP via Getty Images

Some South Koreans told the Washington Post that they would still go above and beyond the government’s cap in order not to receive compensation. But few were keen to officially return to longer work weeks.

“We’ve already felt the benefits of shorter weeks,” Lee Jong-soon, a professor of labor relations at the Graduate School of Labor Studies at Korea University in Seoul, told The Washington Post. “Why would anyone want to go back?”




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