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Part-time workers, small business owners concerned about rapid minimum wage hike pt1

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Published on 15 Aug 2019 / In Film & Animation

The government has today enforced a law that allows franchises and contractors to charge more for services and products provided to conglomerates, to help meet rising labor costs.<br />This comes amid a heated debate over the minimum wage for next year,... which a government committee set at eight-thousand-three-hundred-fifty won.<br />Labor forces say it's too low,.... local businesses say otherwise.<br />We have our Oh Soo-young in the studio to help us break down this ongoing debate.<br />Soo-young, many are questioning whether the minimum wage hike will do more harm than good.<br /><br /> That's right. It was President Moon's election pledge to raise the hourly wage floor to ten-thousand won, or almost nine dollars per hour, by 2020. <br /> That's why we had a whopping 16-point-four percent increase this year,... the highest rate in 17 years... and now the proposed ten-point-nine percent rise to seven-dollars-forty cents. <br />The wage hike is intended to stabilize income for small businesses owners and workers without full-time jobs.<br />However, these are the very people concerned it could all backfire.<br /><br />Twenty-seven year-old Lim Seung-heon has been working part time jobs for the last seven years,... mostly at restaurants and convenience stores.<br />The 16-point-4 percent minimum wage hike this year meant he was taking home an extra 90 dollars a month compared to last year,... but he says the raise came at a price. <br /><br />"Some employers expect much more from us. More input. Looking more cheerful in front of customers. After the wage hike, my former employer at a convenience store explicitly asked two of us to cover work that four people used to do. I had no choice but to accept the situation while looking for other jobs."<br /><br /> At the same time, Lim says he understands his former employer's concerns.<br />Small businesses owners who mostly rely on part time workers have opposed the government's recent wage hike decision, say they're finding it hard to keep their businesses afloat.<br />Half of them are making less than 17-hundred dollars a month, according to a recent survey on almost 950 convenience store owners.<br /><br /> "I don't know what I'm going to do because I can't possibly cut more jobs. I've already been taking over my workers' shifts. I work about ten to twelve hours a day now. Fourteen some days. Many of us convenience store owners are barely making as much as our part time employees."<br /><br /> The same survey shows 30 percent of convenience store workers have taken on about five hours of extra shifts a week to keep costs down. <br />Fifty percent have taken on two to five extra hours. <br />So now, four in ten store owners work more than twelve hours a day. <br />Some have decided to simply close their shops earlier than they used to. <br />But closing early means there's less money coming in,...and fewer jobs for part time workers.<br /><br /> "The profits of small businesses, at least 20% have taken a decline in profits and about a 30% decline in general sales. The decline in general sales is mainly because shop owners decided

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