A panorama of Pyongyang published in state media in December 2019. (Rodong Sinmun - News1)

The Pyongyang People’s Committee recently tallied the rations that workers employed in the city have received from their employers ahead of Labor Day, Daily NK has learned.

“The Pyongyang People’s Committee conducted an investigation in each district of the city to find out what kind of products workers in factories and commercial enterprises received and whether they were appreciated by the workers or not,” a source in Pyongyang told Daily NK on May 16, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The people’s committee also discussed the quality of the products with local committees of each district via a video call.”

According to the people’s committee’s survey, the company that provided the best holiday gifts is located in Mangyongdae District. It gave each of its workers 500 grams of glutinous rice, two bottles of alcohol, one kilogram of flour, one bag of 300 grams of candy, another bag of 200 grams of cookies, 500 grams of mushrooms grown in a greenhouse, 500 grams each of three kinds of vegetables, two pieces of frozen pollock and 100 grams of quail meat.

The company set aside gifts for workers who were traveling for work or on sick leave, and had employees from the finance department load them into cars and deliver them directly to the workers’ homes.

“In the video call, the Pyongyang People’s Committee praised the company’s commitment to providing top-notch rations for its workers and its efforts to deliver gifts to those who couldn’t receive them in person,” the source said. “The people’s committee stressed the importance of promoting workers’ loyalty and attachment to their workplaces.”

Poor performing businesses harshly criticized

Meanwhile, factories and companies that provided inferior gifts were harshly criticized.

The people’s committee demanded that the quality of these holiday gifts be improved and reiterated its plans to conduct similar audits in the future.

“The reason why the Pyongyang People’s Committee conducted this audit of the holiday gifts after the 134th Labor Day is that the Workers’ Party has an internal policy that it must distribute the gifts before the holiday so that the recipients can enjoy good food after a day of festivities and sports games,” the source explained.

The results of the inspection, however, revealed differences in the quantity and quality of the various products received by the workers. Many Pyongyang residents complained among themselves that powerful factories and companies were able to provide better handouts than others.

“Those workers who didn’t receive good gifts were dissatisfied and felt that the campaign would have been better if the people’s committee had actively participated in it instead of just conducting an audit after the fact,” the source added.

Translated by Audrey Gregg. 

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