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what an article, Productivity in a Korean paradise

clock03-29-2010, 12:36 AM
Yorum: #1

take a deep look at this article.. so funny

Posco rolls some of the lowest-cost steel in the world and sends it to more than 50 countries, including the United States.

Exports accounted for 25 percent of Posco's $10.8 billion in sales last year. The company is a player in the U.S. market mainly because of a plant it runs with U.S. Steel in Pittsburg, Calif. The plant gets about 700,000 tons of steel coils each year from Posco's Kwangyang plant, on the country's southern coast.

South Korean steel competes well on the world market due largely to one key advantage - the cost of labor.

Wages and benefits cost South Korean steel makers about $13 an hour, compared with $38 an hour for integrated steel companies in the United States, reports World Steel Dynamics, a steel-consulting and research firm in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

The average annual wage in the South Korean steel industry is about $20,200. That seems low by U.S. standards, but the wage is nearly double the $10,200 "minimal living cost" that the South Korean government has set for a family of four. (Families whose incomes are less than that receive government assistance.)

South Korea's "legacy costs" - pension and medical coverage after retirement - are not nearly as burdensome. Workers and their companies contribute to a national pension fund that begins paying out at age 60.

When workers retire at Posco, they receive a sum equaling one month's pay for each year worked. But after retirement the company is no longer responsible for medical coverage, unlike the situation for LTV and other steel giants that put aside hundreds of millions of dollars for health care.

And because Posco is only 33 years old, it has a much smaller pool of retirees than old-guard companies like LTV.

Posco is one of the top-paying employers in its country, with an average wage of $29,000. That allows workers to achieve the South Korean ideal - three-bedroom apartments in safe neighborhoods with good schools.

Employees can buy or rent units in the scores of high-rise apartment buildings that jut from forested hills in both Pohang and Kwangyang. Who built the apartments, the neighborhoods and the schools? Posco.

"It's clean, it's safe and it's a great place for a family," says Dongsik Lee, 35, a railroad-car operator in the Pohang works coke plant. Lee, his wife and two sons live in a 15-story high-rise and vacation at beaches or ski resorts in Posco housing.

For such benefits, employees work long hours. The average work week is 48 hours in South Korea's steel industry, including a half-day shift on Saturdays. Bosses and subordinates socialize after work, too. They troubleshoot production problems or work out personal differences over beer and karaoke.

"We don't see our kids enough," laments Joung-young Kook, a foreman in the stainless steel division. "We come home late, dead tired."

what the hell.. are workers in posco really getting only $29,000 a year?? is Posco steel work one of the highest paying job in South Korea..??? I know it is published in 2001 but does it make sense? What is he saying?? Apartment with 3 bedrooms.. the ideal home of south koreans.. with only $29,000 a year, we can cover 3 bed room apartments, nice education and good neighbourhoods in South korea.. holy christ
clock07-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Yorum: #2
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