At its seventh meeting held from July 4th (Thu.) at 07:05 p.m. until July 5th (Fri.) at 04:09 a.m., the Minimum Wage Council (Chairman Park Joon-sung) voted to increase the minium wage to 5,210 won an hour in 2014.
This is an increase of 350 won or 7.2% over the hourly minium wage of 4,860 won applied in 2013, and works out at an monthly salary of 1,088,890 won for those working 40 hours a week (209 hours a month including paid weekly holidays).
The proposed minimum wage hike passed this time is the biggest since 2009. Despite the difficult economic conditions, the Council gave priority consideration to improving income distribution and stabilizing the livelihoods of minimum wage workers.
During this year's deliberation, there was a huge difference between the positions of the workers' and employers' representatives with the former demanding an hourly rate of 5,910 won (21.6% higher than last year) and the latter demanding an hourly rate of 4,860 won (the same as last year).
Even after several rounds of all-member meetings, both sides just reaffirmed the big difference in their positions without making much progress.
At the seventh all-member meeting started on July 4th (Thu.) at 07:05 p.m., at the request of both labor and management, the public interest members suggested a range of minimum wages to promote discussion.
However, both sides failed to narrow the gap and experienced a deadlock, adjourning and resuming the meeting several times.
At the same meeting which continued until 04:09 a.m on July 5th (Fri.), the Council put to a vote the minimum wage of 5,210 won the public interest members suggested at the request of both labor and management, and determined the minium wage for 2014.
Park Joon-sung, the Chairman of the Minimum Wage Council, said that the minimum wage level had been determined after taking into account the pay rise for similar workers, the economic growth rate, the inflation rate, the need to improve income distribution among workers, and so on.
The Minimum Wage Council will submit the 2014 minimum wage determined this time to the Minister of Employment and Labor, who will announce it upon receipt. The Minister will give the workers' and employers' representatives at least ten days to raise an objection to the announced minimum wage. After that, he will finally confirm and announce the 2014 minimum wage by August 5th, 2013.