Kaesung Companies Lose 1.8 Million Dollars

[imText1]The representative of the Forum for Inter-Korea Relations, Kim Gyu Chul, alleged in a press conference on the 16th that company “S,” which is located in the Kaesung Industrial Complex, has experienced losses exceeding 1.8 million dollars due to negligence and incompetence of North Korean workers. The losses involve 10 cases of damage claims. He revealed assertions by 22 representatives of South Korean factories in Kaesung. A manager of the Office of Planning & Coordination in the company “S” denied the allegations in a conversation with the DailyNK.

Kim Gyu Chu said “S” company management should prod North Korean authority to look into the matter because they employed the North Korean workers. “S” company reliability has worsened in part because South Korean factory managers cannot directly manage North Korean workers.

“Many companies besides “S” experience North Korean negligence problems stemming from dual management systems. The Kaesung Industrial Complex will continue to be inefficient.”

Kim emphasized that South Korean factory managers have to route their instructions to North Korean workers through North Korean managers and cannot directly access the workers.

Kaesung companies demand guarantees of autonomous management, unified worker management by the company office, guarantees of autonomous employment, and the direct payment of salaries to workers. This marks the first time that problematic North Korean worker attitude has been spotlighted in Kaesung. 15 of 22 companies located in the complex agree such problems exist. Successful North-South collaboration will depend on adoption of proper economic, not political theories.

Issues mentioned by the presidents of the companies:

Management problems:
– North Korean intervention in worker organization and personnel management.
– Treasury and accounting administration should require only one manager; The North Koreans use three.

Direction of business:
– Duplicate or triple order system: direction of South Korean president is not executed without the permission of the leader of a section.

Management of workers:
– Around 20 minutes each day are wasted by closing early for productivity evaluation. Unacceptable workers are often absent, yet retain their jobs.

– Indirect payments for 3 years
– Veiled payment records for goods supplied to workers

Industrial espionage:
– High possibility of informational security breaches.