“Instructed to rest in the bathroom”… “People like us have no place to rest.”

“I was instructed to use the ‘toilet’ as a rest room… My head hurts from the smell of sewage water.”

‘Is this the break room, the bathroom, or the cleaning kit?’ One day, I couldn’t help but believe my eyes when I saw the videos that a reporter gave me of a lounge in the Bupyeong National Industrial Complex in Incheon. The break room at one business was a restroom equipped with a urinal. In one corner, there was a lot of various junk and trash piled up. Absurdly, there was a chair and a water purifier right next to this urinal. There was also a bag of mixed coffee under the chair. It was proof that someone was actually resting here.

“They told us to just use the restroom as a break room, but we wrapped the toilet seat in plastic, put a chair inside, rinsed it out, and are using it like this.”

“Are you actually resting there?”

[Incheon Bupyeong Industrial Complex Worker]
“Some people sit and doze, some people eat snacks there, and change clothes there. In fact, it is a place where people cannot rest. There is a lot of smell of wastewater and ammonia. “So it’s very difficult to get inside. That place is called a rest room. Now everyone says they have a headache. Of course, there is no proper resting place, so most people just cry and rest in this poor space.”

In another video, the break room was literally a cleaning tool box. There were cleaning tools such as mops and brooms lined up on the walls. There was even black mold on the ceiling. The reporter spoke clearly. Workers are resting here.

“The space is less than 1 pyeong. It’s under the stairs, so it’s moldy, and in the past, it was a warehouse for dangerous goods that stored things like oil. Above all, it’s a break room with a really strong smell. . It’s not even a break room. The smell of oil and mold is so strong that even if I stay there for just 10 to 15 minutes, my head hurts so much that I have no choice but to ventilate the room. However, the company says, ‘If you open that door, it will impede traffic.’ I’m doing it.”

Other industrial complexes… “There is no place for people like us to rest.”

This time, out of suspicion that this might be a story about a business within a specific industrial complex, I visited the Banwol and Sihwa National Industrial Complexes in Gyeonggi Province in person. As soon as I arrived at the industrial complex and parked my car, I could see workers taking a breather with a simple chair outside the workplace. When I asked if there was a lounge inside, I immediately received a simple, nonchalant reply, “There isn’t one.”

We continued our reporting using lunch breaks while workers were going to and from the restaurant. In response to a reporter’s question, “Is there a break room at your workplace?” many workers asked, “Where is there a place to rest?” However, after seeing the camera, most of them were quiet and hurried into the restaurant.

A worker at one business told me that he was about to retire and that he would be interviewed when he was leaving the company.

[Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex Worker]
“There is no rest room… there is no place to rest at all. There is only a locker room. It is for changing clothes. The locker room is a rest room. You squat in the locker room and then just work, etc. People who can’t sit still come out. But since I have nowhere to rest, I just exercise like this, sit anywhere, and work when I have time.”

He continued his words in a resigned tone.

“I just thought this is how I make a living, and I just did that. I can come and rest comfortably, but if I want to work like that… there’s no place like that. Isn’t that the case for people like us? If you have a position and work in a good place, then there’s no place like that. Don’t you know, most companies like this are like that?”

Making a living, people like us, positions. Some words in his last words stuck with me. Ah, my heart grew heavier as I thought that the lack of or poor rest facilities for these people was neither surprising nor something to be expected.

Another worker at the Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex also said, “There are no separate locker rooms for men and women, and as a result, we can no longer rest without looking at each other.” Even the locker room was not separated, so it couldn’t be used as a break room, and this laughably bitter situation was happening every day.

When you’re too tired?… ‘Wandering’, ‘Dozing off while standing’, ‘Sitting on the floor’

So, I asked industrial complex workers what they do when they are too tired and want to rest even though there is no place to rest. Their answer was to just work, wander around after lunch, or doze while standing.

[Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex Worker]
“I doze off while holding on to my legs like this. I just stand there completely still. When I’m really tired, I sometimes just take a chair and rest. There’s just a small chair, the kind you get at our restaurant. That’s it. “Once you put it there, it’s just a place to rest.”

[Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex Worker]
“When you wanted to rest? You couldn’t rest and you just did it like this. You just wandered around like this. That’s what we did. We’ve been working here for 10 years and have never been able to rest in such a comfortable space.”

Looking at the photos reported by workers themselves of their resting places, some workers sat on Styrofoam to eat and rest inside the workplace because there was no break room, sat on tires in front of the workplace, or just sat on the bare floor to rest.

We desperately need communal lounge facilities… In front of a convenience store that has become a famous place

In the case of industrial complexes, many small businesses are concentrated there. In these types of workplaces, the reality is that it is not easy for business owners to install individual break facilities, so there is an urgent need for common break facilities that multiple workplaces can use together. However, the workers said, “This is the first time I have heard of the communal lounge facility itself.”

Because of this, the seats in front of convenience stores and snack bars after lunch are popular. There was no break room in the workplace, so I asked the workers who were resting at a table in front of the convenience store after lunch.

“Is this the best lounge?”

[Workers of Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex]
“It’s a good place. A good place, this is it.”
“This is a famous place in this neighborhood.”

Workers who were resting at a table set up in front of the store also spoke to the reporter as if they were waiting for an interview.

[Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex Worker]
“If there are benches like this, you can sit down and rest for a while, but now the only ones that have such benches are the simple chairs installed in convenience stores and chairs like this in front of the concession stand. Otherwise, “Because I have to lean against the wall, crouch, and rest, I think it would be very helpful to secure some space and install something simple.”

It is directly related to rest, safety accidents, and health… Discrimination based on the number of employees in the workplace

Although workers accept the situation of having no place to rest as inevitable, it is difficult to shake off concerns about safety accidents due to the nature of the manufacturing industry.

[Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex Worker]
“Accidents happen in an instant, so accidents can happen even while you are dozing off for a moment.”

Park Jun-seong, a labor attorney at the law firm ‘Yeoun’, emphasized, “Relaxation space is an issue directly related to workers’ right to health.” He pointed out, “Especially in the case of cerebrovascular diseases, whether a stable rest space is guaranteed is a very important issue,” and added, “Ultimately, if rest facilities are not guaranteed, the health and lives of workers are bound to be greatly affected.” I did.

In fact, Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Jeong-sik also emphasized the importance of rest facilities, saying, “Rest facilities are the most basic and important facilities to ensure the health and safety of field workers.” However, the situation at the industrial site was far from what the minister said.

Rest facilities are directly related to safety accidents and health, but small businesses are not subject to sanctions even if they do not have rest facilities. The reality is that workers’ safety and health are discriminated against depending on the size of the workplace.

Rest facilities have been made mandatory for all workplaces… Businesses with less than 20 employees are blind spots.

According to the revised Occupational Safety and Health Act, it has been mandatory for all workplaces to install rest facilities of at least 6㎡ since August 18 of last year. However, if a rest facility is not installed, a fine of up to 15 million won is imposed on workplaces with 20 or more full-time workers, and among workplaces with 10 or more employees, two or more workers in seven vulnerable occupations, including cleaners, security guards, and delivery workers. It is limited to the place of employment. Businesses with less than 20 full-time workers are not subject to sanctions even if they do not install rest facilities or do not meet installation management standards, so they are left in a blind spot.

In particular, industrial complexes with many small businesses, with an average employment of 20.6 people, are in this blind spot. In fact, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions conducted a survey of 4,021 people in industrial complexes in 13 regions across the country last year and found that 43.8% did not have rest facilities.

Park Jun-seong, a labor attorney, said, “In fact, deciding whether or not to guarantee rest space based on the size of the workplace is a matter of differentiating the health, environment, and value of life depending on which workplace the workers work at.” He emphasized, “The more a business location, the more stable the rest area is needed.”

The Ministry of Employment and Labor is also passive… Budget execution rate for industrial complex common lounge facilities is ‘0%’

In this situation, the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s budget execution is also passive. According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s ‘One-Year Status Data on Mandatory Installation of Rest Facilities’ submitted to the National Assembly in August, KRW 48.2 billion was earmarked for the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s budget for the installation of industrial accident prevention facilities, including support for common rest facilities in industrial complexes, of this amount for joint rest facilities in industrial complexes. The facility support budget execution rate was 0%.

When management entities of industrial굿모닝토토 주소 complexes, such as the Korea Industrial Complex Corporation or local governments, apply for a joint rest facility budget, they must bear 50% of the costs. For these reasons and other reasons, it is pointed out that the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s promotion and encouragement to apply were insufficient in a situation where industrial complex management entities were passive in applying.

[Manufacturer business owner of Banwol Sihwa Industrial Complex]
“The country has a budget for rest facilities? I need to know so I can do something. I need to send emails or faxes, but there’s nothing like that. We built all the rest room containers with our own money, but I’ve never heard of anything like that. There isn’t one. Well, efficiency goes up when people take a little break. In a small factory like this, it’s difficult to set up a break room. There are only four of us, including myself, as employees. As you can see, it’s almost all work space and space to rest. Because there aren’t many of them.”

Park Jun-seong, a labor attorney, said, “In reality, it is difficult for individual business owners to bear the budget for rest facilities, so I understand that there have been calls to supplement this by installing common rest facilities. “I think we have no choice but to judge that not executing the budget means that the state’s will to protect workers’ health rights is weak,” he pointed out.

This is why there are voices calling for a need to increase the government’s budget execution rate for rest facilities, including common lounge facilities in industrial complexes, and to revise the bill for installing rest facilities in the mid to long term so that it can be effective even in workplaces with less than 20 employees.

When SBS’s ‘8 News’ reported the current status of industrial complex rest facilities, the Ministry of Employment and Labor issued a press release on measures, saying, “If a common lounge facility is installed in an industrial complex, installation of a joint lounge facility will be done, including adjusting the self-payment ratio of the industrial complex management agency, which is currently 50%.” “We will actively prepare various incentives to provide incentives,” he said. In addition, he said, “We will actively consult with relevant ministries, related organizations such as the tenant council, and the central-local government council to promote the establishment of common rest facilities for workers of companies moving into the industrial complex, including joint promotion.” . Although it is late, it is fortunate that the government announced that it would take measures such as adjusting the self-payment ratio of industrial complex management organizations to install common rest facilities.

The government’s announcement of measures should be a beginning, not an end. It remains to be seen how the ‘rest room in the bathroom’ and the ‘moldy cleaning tool box break room’ will change in the future.

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