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Seoul gov’t to make TBS workers full employees

Jan 25,2018
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday it will convert over 250 contingent workers of the city-run traffic broadcasting channel TBS into regular, permanent employees.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced the plan at a press briefing at Seoul City Hall in Jung District, central Seoul. According to the plan, 272 freelance TV producers, reporters, script writers and camera crew are eligible to be converted into regular hires.

Seoul’s goal is to transform TBS into an independent foundation by the first half of next year. The city plans to directly hire under contract 259 out of the 272 contingent workers by this June, which will guarantee them annual leave, national health insurance and retirement pay. The rest have said that they would like to remain freelancers.

After TBS turns into a foundation next year, the workers will have to go through an official hiring process to be hired as regular employees. Some 78 of them, mostly script writers, will still be under contract. Currently, all regular employees at TBS are government employees on five-year contracts. Though all current regular employees will lose their status as government employees after TBS becomes a foundation, hiring and employee management will become much more flexible.

To improve the general working conditions within the broadcasting industry, Seoul city government, in cooperation with media labor unions, will help construct the “Hanbit Media Labor Rights Center.” Lee Han-bit, an assistant producer for the tvN drama series “Drinking Solo,” committed suicide in October 2016 soon after wrapping up production due to apparent overwork and stressful conditions.

BY CHU IN-YOUNG [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]