Airport duty-free shops take advantage of benefits and break job retention promises


One of the places that has been hit hard by COVID-19 is the duty-free shop industry. Airport duty-free shops, which are suffering from such difficulties, received a reduction in rent as a condition of maintaining their employment and even received a subsidy for maintaining employment. However, it turned out that he only took these benefits and ignored the promise of maintaining employment.

Reporter Jeong Da-eun reports.

Person A, an employee of a subcontractor who was in charge of selling cosmetics at a duty-free shop at Incheon Airport.

After Corona 19, the number of days to go to work has been cut by more than half, and I have survived for nearly two years with a sharp drop in wages, but I was forced to resign recently.

[A 씨/인천공항 면세점 근무 : (사직서를) 안 쓰고 못 나간다 하니까 그럼 너 30분 있다 다시 와, 해서 3시간 이상 붙잡아 둬서 결국에는 사인을 할 수밖에 없게끔….]

Anomalous pressure was also applied.

[A 씨/인천공항 면세점 근무 : 지방으로 출근하든지 인천 사는 사람을 지방으로 발령을 내거나 퇴사를 하게끔 하고….]

As airport duty-free shops face difficulties after the COVID-19 outbreak, Incheon International Airport reduced or deferred rent as a condition of maintaining employment.

Instead, it even wrote a memorandum of understanding stating that it will maintain more than 90% of the employment of direct and subcontractors in duty-free shops, and strive to maintain the employment of dispatched workers.

In the second half of last year alone, the rents that were reduced or deferred at duty-free shops nationwide exceeded 860 billion won.

Duty-free shops are a special employment support business and can receive employment maintenance subsidies.

Last year, duty-free shops received about KRW 6.8 billion in employment maintenance support, and KRW 3.3 billion until September of this year.

However, as a result of a survey by the Korea Customs Service, the number of regular employees at duty free shops in December last year decreased by 6.1% compared to a year ago, and the number of non-regular employees such as subcontractors decreased by a whopping 45.9%.

As in the case of Mr. A, duty-free shops only took advantage of benefits and did not make any effort to retain employment.

[장철민/민주당 의원 (국회 환노위) : 비정규직이라든지 고용형태에서 더 취약한 노동자들일수록 더 부조리한 상황을 겪게 되는…. (취약 사업장에 대한) 근로감독과 정책적인 배려가 있었으면….]

The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that it will recover subsidies for workplaces that violate the mandatory period of employment maintenance through follow-up monitoring.

(Video editing: Park Chun-bae, VJ: Park Hyeon-woo)

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