Ruling party urges labor, business to accept minimum wage decision
SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party appealed Sunday to both labor and business to accept the decision on next year's minimum wage as the main opposition party stepped up criticism that the hike will deal a blow to the economy.
The Minimum Wage Commission decided Saturday to raise next year's minimum wage by 10.9 percent to 8,350 won (US$ 7.37) per hour after an overnight meeting boycotted by business representatives. It will be the first time the country's minimum wage has surpassed the 8,000-won mark.
This year's minimum wage is 7,530 won per hour, up 16.4 percent from a year ago -- the biggest hike in nearly two decades. President Moon Jae-in has vowed to increase the threshold to 10,000 won by 2020 to achieve income-led growth.
Saturday's decision sparked angry reactions from both labor groups and businesses.
"We hope both management and labor will give consent to the difficult decision," Rep. Park Kyung-mee, a ruling party spokesperson, said in a statement, noting that there have been sharp protests from businesses, such as convenience stores, as well as complaints from labor groups.
"There can't be a Solomon's solution that can satisfy both the management side that calls for a freeze and the labor side that calls for a hike of at least 15 percent," she said. The fact that the decision is not satisfactory to either side means the two parties can accept it if they both back down, she said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency