Corona Pandemic is leading to increased deaths in South Korea.

von
Mona Hetzel
November 26, 2020

The Corona Pandemic is leading to increased deaths in South Korea. Due to the increased volume of orders, the courier service has been revised and is now more than 70 hours per week. As a result there have already been several deaths.Workers have already protested against the conditions, and the recent deaths have shocked public and political opinion.
CJ Logistics is a company where employees have literally worked themselves to death. Therefore, banners hang on the trucks, on which the company apologizes


Managing Director Park Keun-Hee said at a press conference: "As Managing Director I feel responsible for several dead couriers and I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the suffering of the people". Then he bows deeply and long. The Ministry of Labor wants to introduce stricter security measures for logistics companies, eliminate night work as far as possible and carry out regular health checks. However, the apology will not bring back the dead workers.Open the car door, put the package on the sack truck, get into the elevator, back again and to the next customer. Jeong Sang-Rok rushes from one customer to the next. "I would like so much as a father to take more care of my children, but there is hardly any time for that. I just have to earn money and I rarely see them, I have a guilty conscience.Jeong, 51 years old, works at a delivery service. His days, he tells a Reuters reporter, are long: 14 hours a day, without a break, after all he has to deliver 250 packages. "People from the industry have already lost their lives. The bitter irony is that we actually work to live, not to die.


Suppliers currently work more than 70 hours a week, a health and safety interest group found out in a survey. That is ten hours more than what is considered work overload in South Korea.The fact that Jeong and his colleagues work so much is also due to the fact that some of their working time is not charged as such - for example, when the parcels are sorted from the conveyor belt into the truck. At the end of the month, the 51-year-old goes home with around 2,000 euros net.None of the employees wants to risk their jobs.


But something would also have to change structurally, because currently the majority of couriers are self-employed and often employed through subcontractors who compete with each other. "And in the midst of the current crisis, no one can afford to lose their job, not even one like this," says worker Kim.Courier Jeong Sang-Rok is already rushing to the next customer, he has no time and is pessimistic about the future. "When people talk about work-life balance, it sounds like something from his other world. I would very much like to have a balance between life and work". So a lot has to change here.

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