[THE INVESTOR] A labor union of South Korean bank employees is demanding bank branches here close during lunchtime in forthcoming collective bargaining talks.
The Korean Financial Industry Union was reported as saying on April 9 the proposal was designed to guarantee bank clerks get an hourlong lunch break. The KFIU is an umbrella group representing labor unions of over 30 financial institutions, including local commercial banks, provincial banks and co-ops.
Korean banks, with few exceptions, are open to customers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Many clerks in Korean banks work in a shift from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch, which the union says is “the busiest hour.”
The labor union cited cases in Germany, France Spain and Portugal, where banks close for lunch.
The proposal was one of the 53 demands for the collective bargaining agreements submitted on March 29. In the upcoming talks with representatives of financial companies starting on April 12, the union is planning to call for shorter work hours, participation in boards of directors, relief in income polarization and the repeal of merit pay incentives.
By Son Ji-hyoung/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)