The Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that E-land Park, a franchise company running Ashely, Nature Kitchen, and others, did not pay the equivalent of 8.372 billion won in wages to 44,460 part-time workers. In other words, an individual parttime worker was cheated out of 18.7 million won, or exploited for 31 hours of work at minimum wage. The company refused to pay part-timers for work on national holidays, overtime, and work done on night shifts. The Ministry of Employment and Labor has filed charges against the Chairperson of E-land Group. On December 21st, E-land Group issued an apology for its poor working environment and treatment of part-time workers. It also promised to improve and change. However, the apology has sparked controversy because E-land Park has yet to pay the wages earned by contract workers and regular worker. According to Lee Jungmi of Justice Party, who first started the investigation, E-Park could owe approximately 92.7 billion won in back wages to its employees. E-Park once again issued an apology and promised severe punishments for wrongdoings to higher ranking executives and managers of E-land Park and E-land Group and to continuously oversea the matter. However, some of their affiliate franchises still continue to operate without reimbursing employees for back wages. The Ministry of Employment and Labor should also dig deeper into those affiliate franchises.
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