“Why are you cutting my wages while leaving the university alone?”… KEPCO employee reacts

Posted bycollagennewtree@gmail.com Posted onJune 10, 2023 Comments0

Employees at KEPCO and KOGAS are reacting to the company’s tough measures to improve its financial structure. While there are complaints about the return of wage increases, the companies insist on reducing unnecessary expenses such as contributions to Hankuk University.

According to the industry on the 9th, KEPCO’s labor union and the company are currently facing off over the return of this year’s wage increase. The two sides have formed a working committee to negotiate wages and implement self-rescue efforts. At the first labor-management meeting after KEPCO’s self-stabilization plan was announced last month, the company raised the issue of returning the wage increase, while the union opposed the return of the wage increase without a reason.

KEPCO announced its self-rescue plan ahead of the electricity rate hike in the second quarter, saying it would improve its financial structure by about 25 trillion won by 2026 through wage and staffing adjustments, cost cuts, and asset sales. Under the wage adjustment proposal, which has become the most contentious issue between labor and management, KEPCO’s second-level (managerial) employees and above will have to return the full amount of this year’s wage increase, while third-level (deputy managerial) employees will have to return half토토사이트.

A KEPCO branch in Seoul. /News1

Inside KEPCO, there are complaints that the company’s employees are blamed for the deficit, which stems from the electricity pricing system. South Korea’s electricity rates are set by the government, not KEPCO, and the process is subject to political influence. KEPCO’s losses surged last year because it was unable to reflect the increase in international energy prices in its electricity bills in time. KEPCO, which buys electricity and sells it to households and businesses, accumulated deficits because it bought too much and sold too little.

Some employees believe that KEPCO urgently needs to reduce its contribution to the KEPCO Energy Engineering College, but it has not been able to do so due to political and local government pressure. KEPCO and its 10 affiliates provided 172.4 billion won to the university from 2020 to last year. This year, 15.88 billion won is scheduled, and next year and the year after that, 13.21 billion won and 74.3 billion won, respectively. Hankuk University is a school that was strongly promoted by the Moon Jae-in administration.

Most of its budget is covered by contributions from KEPCO and its affiliates, with the rest coming from the government’s Electric Power Industry Fund and local governments. While the government is considering reducing the size of KEPCO’s contribution, leaving its share of the 30 billion won Power Fund unchanged, lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Korea’s Gwangju and South Jeolla provinces are calling for a review of KEPCO’s contribution to Hankuk University.

They argued that if KEPCO’s contribution is reduced, the government should provide financial support so that the school’s operations are not disrupted. If the school abandons its duties and responsibilities, they plan to push for the dismissal of the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Members of the Jeonnam Provincial Assembly present a statement on ‘Condemning the reconsideration of the KEPCO subsidy’ at the provincial assembly’s briefing room on March 15./Provided by Jeonnam Provincial Assembly

A similar conflict is brewing at GASCO, which, along with KEPCO, has announced a 15 trillion won self-rescue plan, over the management of its professional basketball team. The company has proposed a wage adjustment plan that includes a wage increase this year and the return of performance bonuses, but employees insist that unnecessary expenses, such as running a basketball team, should be cut. According to the adjustment proposal, those in the second grade (deputy director level) and above will receive a full wage increase, those in the first grade will receive a full performance bonus, and those in the second grade will receive half a performance bonus.

The operation of GASCO’s basketball team has been a source of complaints since the time of the takeover. It was pointed out that it was unreasonable for the company to take on a basketball team since it already runs a taekwondo team, but there was reportedly pressure from local governments to contribute to the revitalization of the local economy.

The GASCO basketball team was also controversial as it was later revealed that former GASCO President Chae Hee-bong had recruited a high school alumnus when he was in office. The company changed the basketball team’s operating guidelines after Chae’s approval, creating a general manager with an annual salary of more than 100 million won and an external head coach. In its own operational diagnosis, the corporation pointed out that the privatization of the basketball team was “siphoning off money from the budget,” and the appointment of an external head coach was “an in-the-know appointment by (Chae).”


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