Labor and Management Divided Over 2025 Minimum Wage Increase

SEOUL — During the ninth plenary session of the Minimum Wage Commission, a stark divide emerged between labor and management representatives over the setting of next year’s minimum wage. The labor group has proposed a significant 28-percent increase, pushing for a minimum wage of 12,600 won per hour in response to high inflation and the declining purchasing power of workers, especially those in low-income brackets.

According to Yonhap News Agency, while the labor representatives argued for a substantial hike to combat the effects of inflation on living standards, management representatives have pushed for a wage freeze, citing economic pressures on small businesses and self-employed individuals. This marks the fourth consecutive year that management has proposed not increasing the minimum wage. The ongoing negotiations are part of the commission's process to set the legal minimum hourly wage for 2025, which is currently at 9,860 won (approximately US$7.13). With both sides presenting their initial positions, the discussions are expected to continue with the aim of reconciling these divergent views before the legal deadline of August 5.

Labor and Management Divided Over 2025 Minimum Wage Increase

SEOUL — During the ninth plenary session of the Minimum Wage Commission, a stark divide emerged between labor and management representatives over the setting of next year’s minimum wage. The labor group has proposed a significant 28-percent increase, pushing for a minimum wage of 12,600 won per hour in response to high inflation and the declining purchasing power of workers, especially those in low-income brackets.

According to Yonhap News Agency, while the labor representatives argued for a substantial hike to combat the effects of inflation on living standards, management representatives have pushed for a wage freeze, citing economic pressures on small businesses and self-employed individuals. This marks the fourth consecutive year that management has proposed not increasing the minimum wage. The ongoing negotiations are part of the commission's process to set the legal minimum hourly wage for 2025, which is currently at 9,860 won (approximately US$7.13). With both sides presenting their initial positions, the discussions are expected to continue with the aim of reconciling these divergent views before the legal deadline of August 5.

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