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Labor and Management Meeting to Improve the Employment of Foreign Seafarers

  • Date2023-07-07
  • Hit777

Labor and Management Meeting to Improve the Employment of Foreign Seafarers

 

- ACRC hosts a panel discussion on institutional improvement for “ways of rationalizing the employment of foreign seafarers.”

 

□ A place for discussion on measures for institutional improvement will be organized to address issues related to the employment of foreign seafarers in the era of low birth rates and an aging population.

 

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Kim Hong-Il) will host a panel discussion at “Spaceshare,” located near Seoul Station, at 10 a.m. on July 7, inviting experts from relevant organizations, including the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), Korea Shipping Association, National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, and Federation of Korean Seafarers’ Union.

 

□ The discussion aims to lay the foundation for the advancement of the marine and fishery industry by resolving issues regarding the supply and demand of seafarers manpower in industrial fields resulting from the sharp decline in the working-age population due to low birth rates and an aging population and bridging the opinion gap between labor and management related to such issue.

 

□ The marine and fishery industry is currently one of the industries that people tend to avoid, where the number of seafarers is continuously decreasing, and has no choice but to depend on foreign seafarers.

 

According to the Korea Seafarer's Statistical Yearbook, as of late 2021, the number of seafarers employed in Korea reached 59,843, among which 27,333 were foreign seafarers, accounting for nearly half the total.

 

□ However, some have pointed out that the legal basis for the “Guidelines of Foreign Seafarers Management,” which stipulate decisions regarding the size of employment of foreign seafarers or employment reporting, remains unclear, and relevant shipowner groups* and seafarers’ unions in Korea** have been reaching agreements prior to the government’s policy decisions, resulting in mutual conflicts.

 

* National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, Korea Shipowners’ Association, Korea Shipping Association, Korea Overseas Fisheries Association, etc.

** Federation of Korean Seafarers’ Unions (FKSU)

 

As a result, there have been mutual distrust and conflicts in the course of labor-management consultations and employment reporting.

 

Furthermore, there have been some issues, including foreign seafarers’ union membership fee as per the agreement between labor and management, welfare funds for the protection of seafarers in Korea and improvement of their welfare, and the payment of foreign seafarers management costs required by relevant shipowner groups according to their internal regulations.

 

□ The discussion invites the relevant division of the MOF, relevant shipowner groups, people from seafarers’ unions in Korea, and experts to discuss the current management of foreign seafarers and the improvement measures by ACRC, which will be based on the discussion on the current situation.

 

ACRC plans to recommend institutional improvements through a convergence of opinions by consulting with relevant agencies and experts based on the opinions gathered from the discussion.

 

□ ACRC Vice Chairperson Kim Tae-Gyu said, “Institutional improvements are necessary as the shortcomings in processes and methods can potentially lead to confrontation and conflicts, despite good intentions of systems. We hope that today’s discussion will serve as a platform for a constructive discussion to lay the foundation for the advancement of the marine and fishery sectors in the era of low birth rates and an aging population.”

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