The Dispute Over Incheon National Airport’s Permanent Job Problem
The Dispute Over Incheon National Airport’s Permanent Job Problem
  • Reporter Ryu Nu-ri
  • 승인 2020.07.14 18:46
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▲Aerial shot of Incheon National Airport
▲Aerial shot of Incheon National Airport

Moon Jae-in, the president of Korea, vowed to turn all unstable employment in the public sector into permanent employment within his term. Following his pledge, the Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) announced its plans to convert nearly 10,000 contract employees to permanent payroll on June 22. A total of 9,785 employees are to be affected, and, among them, 2,143 will be directly hired by IIAC, and the remaining will be hired by three different affiliated companies. However, the decision of turning 2,143 irregular employees to permanent employees directly hired by IIAC is facing criticism from job-seekers and the general public.
IIAC is one of the most favored companies for job-seekers due to its job security, decent salary, and other benefits. The competition to get a job in IIAC is intense, often requiring years of study and work experience to pass the résumé screening, tests, and interviews. Those who oppose to this policy contend that it is unfair that temporary workers gain permanent positions in IIAC just for being at the right place at the right time. They question if it is truly fair to take away the opportunities of job-seekers who have been rigorously trying to earn that position. Furthermore, they worry that IIAC will reduce the number of new recruitments since application of such policy will double the number of regular employees. Also, existing workers of IIAC are concerned about losing their control over the labor union. IIAC currently has roughly 1,400 full-time employees, which is less than the 2,143 workers to be earning permanent positions. 
The Blue House and the ruling party is claiming that fake news and misleading information are creating unnecessary controversies. Hwang Deok-soon, senior presidential secretary for job creation, asserted that the government’s policy will make more decent jobs for the youth in a long term perspective. He also claimed that the annual recruitment of IIAC will not be affected by workers earning permanent positions. Moreover, he explained that most of the irregular workers will go through a screening process and that their salary will not jump to the rumored 50 million KRW. However, job-seekers expressed deprival regarding their opportunities and think that it is unfair to give decent jobs to a certain group while some are going through a 200-to-1 competition even for the lowest ranking government job.

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