In the early stage of COVID outbreak in Korea at the end of January, KFSU-GKL (Grand Korea Leisure Union) started to demand the management to prepare for the COVID 19 impact and guarantee workers’ safety.
The demands included wearing masks, family-care leave usage, limit the total number of entries, 20 minutes ventilation every 4 hours, prohibiting the side-betting, high quality quarantine equipment to each team, and cancellation of all planned contests, etc.
GKL was the first casino where workers were wearing the masks. But the management’s response was very slow and workers had worries about the workplace environment. The Union continuously called for the management and the Ministry of Culture, Athletics and Tourism to take appropriate measures in practice.
Mr. Chun Jin-Soo, GKL union president says, “Casino workplace is the most dangerous to expose the contamination, as workers have to sit closely with customers in the closed areas. It could be worse than Call Centers as social distancing is impossible. We have to put the safety of 1,800 workers the first priority. We continuously asked the management to take appropriate measures to prevent the COVID 19. After 4 hour marathon meeting on March 23rd, the management accepted our union demands and decided to close the business for two weeks – from March 24th to April 5th, with the wages of 70% to be paid during the period.”
Unmfortunatelly, there is a number of hotels and casinos where the business was closed temporarily without full negotiations with unions.