* Date : 2018-08-07
South Korea's controversy over its new minimum wage has emerged as a hot-button issue. On July 14, the Minimum Wage Commission set the country's wage floor at 8,350 won for the year 2019, a 10.9% increase from this year's 7,530 won. However, both laborers and business-owners have voiced complaints over the new minimum wage. Workers claim that real wage growth is still languishing at the 1% level when excluding bonuses, while businesses have countered by saying that minimum wage has already surpassed 10,000 won in effect when taking into account various benefits. A minimum wage hike has been regarded as a double-edged sword, with improvements in productivity and workers' livelihoods being offset by inflationary pressure and job losses. Small business owners in particular have put up fierce opposition to the minimum wage hike, given that labor costs take up the bulk of their expenses and could pose a serious threat to their bottom line. In this week's edition of "Foreign Correspondents", we sit down with our panel of foreign journalists to talk more about South Korea's minimum wage as well as those of countries abroad.
Thomas Maresca, Journalist / USA Today
Frank Smith, Journalist / Press TV
Fabian Kretschmer, Journalist / Deutsche Welle