(LEAD) Labor side proposes 13.6 pct hike in 2025 minimum wage; management suggests near freeze

The labor segment of the Minimum Wage Commission proposed a 13.6-percent increase in next year’s minimum wage Tuesday, while management representatives called for a near freeze.

The proposals were made during the ninth plenary session of the commission tasked with determining the legal minimum wage per hour for 2025.

This year’s rate is set at 9,860 won (US$7.13), with an eye being placed on whether it will surpass 10,000 won for the first time.

The labor side of the commission, which also includes members representing management and the public interest, demanded 11,200 won as next year’s minimum wage, arguing that high inflation is undercutting the real value of workers’ wages and impoverishing the livelihoods of low-income workers.

The management front called for a near freeze, the fourth annual demand for a freeze in a row, citing the managerial difficulties faced by small business owners and the self-employed.

The final minimum wage is determined through many rounds of negotiations, during which bot
h sides revise their proposals to narrow the gap.

The commission is legally required to announce the 2025 minimum wage by Aug. 5.

Source: Yonhap News Agency