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Moon meets hotel workers, calls for win-win effort to avoid layoffs due to coronavirus

All News 13:14 April 29, 2020

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in emphasized the need Wednesday for a win-win approach to keep job cuts at bay amid the prolonged coronavirus-led economic crisis, which he describes as the worst since the 1997 financial meltdown.

"The precondition for overcoming the crisis is not restructuring but maintaining employment," he said during a meeting with a group of hotel executives and workers at Grand Walkerhill Seoul, a five-star hotel in eastern Seoul.

The travel industry is one of the hardest-hit businesses, as the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

While South Korea has managed to flatten the curve of virus infections in recent weeks, its export-reliant economy, the fourth largest in Asia, is bracing for harsher consequences with no end in sight.

Moon requested that all of the country's social and economic players concentrate their force to protect jobs in the spirit of "solidarity and co-prosperity."

Cheong Wa Dae said Moon held the on-site event in recognition of a voluntary campaign in the industry.

In late March, the Korea Hotel Association and the Korean Federation of Tourist & Service Industry Worker's Unions signed a deal to work together to ride out the coronavirus trouble through job protection and cooperative ties.

The labor and the management of Walkerhill then struck an agreement against "artificial restructuring," which means massive layoffs.

Last week, Moon announced plans to pour 40 trillion won (US$32.8 billion) into South Korea's seven key industries -- aviation, shipbuilding, shipping, automobile, machinery, electric power and communication -- to help them keep employment and ride out the crisis.

The government will also spend 10 trillion won to cushion the COVID-19 impact on the country's job market, including the service sector.

President Moon Jae-in (R) (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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