Recently, when we pass through the front gate of the school, many organizations are advertising in front of the school. There are activists who stand out among them. Some are "Minimum Wage Supporters". We tried talking with Choi Ho-jin (Department of International Relations) who is active in the Minimum Wage Supporters.
Q. Hello, Please introduce "Minimum Wage Supporters".
A. This support group is the first generation type of labor union called a youth union. Ordinary labor unions exist in types of industries like metal unions and industrial unions. There is no labor union for part-time jobs, and young company workers are in a situation where it is difficult to do union work activities. So, we made a labor union where young people can participate easily, depend on each other, and can fight to defend their rights. These supporters have already been active in the whole country, and it has operated in Gyeongsangnam province for 5 years. Minimum Wages Supporters activities in CWNU started in the first week of March. Not only students, but also local youths, 20s and 30s act as supporters. There are young workers, part-time and full-time students.
Q. What activities do you plan to do?
A. In fact, young people who work part-time jobs, interns and non-regular workers are ignored at workplaces. We think that youth labor is also an important labor force. And we insisted that we must fully compensate for labor, we have been engaged in activities such as raising minimum wages. Recently, the situation is better than before, but there are businesses that have not paid minimum wages to workers in front of the school, especially convenience stores, PC rooms and so on. I tried changing the situation like this. We think that the starting point should be around the school, we are promoting ‘the minimum wages clean zone’ project in front of the gate. We plan to do "weekly campaign to improve recognition of you and I" in the school. In addition, we are also planning to survey the actual condition of whether part-time jobs are well guaranteed minimum wage and weekly allowance, by going around the office in front of the school with the work supervisor from Changwon City and Employment Labor Department. We will hold a press conference with the facts surveyed on May 1st to commemorate Labor Day. At the press conference, it helps communication between the employer and the workers. The press conference will be an opportunity for the employer and part-time workers to respect each other and make promises to secure mutual rights. Students of CWNU are also angry and sympathetic. We will continue to do things like this.
Q. Do you have difficulties while doing activities?
A. There are many situations that conflict with employers. They express discomfort when we ask questions about wages. We also understand that small merchants are having a hard time, but it is the wrong thing to take away others' rights to live. Young workers should be assured of their rights and we play a role in representing them.
Q. What do these supporters ultimately want to do?
A. What we want to do can be divided into two broad categories: The first is the improvement of awareness among employers and school students. Second, the goal is to investigate and consult those who are not guaranteed the rights and complain to the Labor Department, so we give them real help.
By Lee Yun-kyeong. firstname.lastname@example.org
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