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40 pct of delivery drivers work over 14 hours per day during peak season: survey

All News 17:47 December 01, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- About 40 percent of parcel delivery drivers in South Korea work more than 14 hours a day during peak seasons, government data showed Tuesday.

The labor ministry released its study on the work conditions and health of couriers following a recent series of deaths of workers apparently from overwork. The survey was conducted online on 1,862 workers of four major logistics companies from Nov. 1-13.

The survey found 41.6 percent work 14 hours per day during high seasons, including national holidays, while 34.7 percent put in between 12 and 14 hours and 16.6 percent work between 10 and 12 hours.

A courier of CJ Logistics sorts parcels at a logistics center in Seoul on Oct. 22, 2020. (Yonhap)

It also showed 84.9 percent work six days per week and 12.4 percent work seven days per week during such periods.

During normal periods, daily work hours were found to be between 12 and 14 hours for 42.3 percent, 10-12 hours for 28.6 percent and more than 14 hours for 17.6 percent, while 95.2 percent work six days a week.

Most of them, 88.8 percent, take less than 30 minutes of rest, including lunch time, per day.

Only 19.4 percent of the couriers receive help from additional workforce for the increased workload during peak seasons, while 77.7 percent handle the burden themselves through overtime.

In this photo provided by Korea Post, workers sort parcels at one of its warehouses in the central city of Daejeon on Sept. 22, 2020, ahead of the Chuseok holiday, which falls on Oct. 1. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

It also found 62.6 percent spend more than five hours sorting parcels during peak seasons.

A total of 69.6 percent said they feel fatigued or very fatigued from work, while a mere 1.2 percent answered they do not feel so.

Their poor working conditions came to light as 15 delivery workers have died apparently in relation to overwork this year as of October, according to a couriers' advocacy group.


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