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Businesses to selectively follow gov't decision on extended holiday

All News 09:53 January 11, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- Business groups indicated Wednesday they will follow if the government decides to extend the holiday period in early May, meant to induce local consumption, but on a selective basis at certain affiliates who need to meet production deadlines.

The first week of May this year has three holidays that fall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Officials said the government may make Tuesday and Thursday temporary holidays to extend the days off to nine by connecting them with weekends.

Large manufacturing companies in electronics, auto and steel industries said they will abide by the government decision.

Samsung Electronics intends to apply the longer holidays but plans to keep its chips and display factories operational. Company officials said the round-the-clock output is necessary to meet orders, which tend to increase around the holiday period.

Businesses to selectively follow gov't decision on extended holiday - 1

Steel industry officials said they, too, will have to keep the production facilities running and have employees work on holiday schedule rotation.

Automakers vary in giving holidays, each saying they will see to manufacturing needs. While Hyundai Motor plans to follow the government holiday, GM Korea said it will seek flexibility. "While we will try to follow the government guideline as much as possible, we plan to operate each factory flexibly, depending on their rate of production," a company official said.

Renault Samsung said flat out that it would be difficult to add extra holidays given the production shortfall for both domestic and export needs. Ssangyong Motor also said its assembly line workers will likely have to work special shifts.

Oil refineries cannot halt plant operations, but companies plan to minimize the number of workers on duty during the holiday period. The situation is the same for chemical firms, who intend to maintain the four team, three shift routine.

Unlike such large conglomerates, small and medium-sized companies are unenthusiastic about the long holidays. More limited in financial resources and workforce compared to conglomerates, these smaller firms mostly have to forgo production or pay the cost of hiring replacement workers.

"We barely meet production deadlines even when the entire staff of 20 or so employees are working," an owner of a mid-sized enterprise manufacturing air purifiers said. "The workers may be glad about the extended holidays, but company chiefs cannot help but worry."

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