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Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English attempt at all?

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chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English attempt at all?
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My previous employer was dodgy and bullying.  On completion of my contract, they refused to pay my pension or severance.  There were also several incidences of contract violation: denial of vacation, not being able to choose my apartment, etc.

Now, I've returned to Busan and made a complaint with the Labor Board regarding these issues.  It's taken over a month, but finally they seem to be doing something.  However, even though the forms I submitted online were in English, they've made no attempt to use the slightest bit of English in their replies to me.

I get long Korean legalese text messages and apparently I'm due to receive some certified mail today.  At least, that's what I've been able to discern from my dictionary.  Don't get me wrong, I can get by in Korean well enough... I pay my bills, I visit the bank, I order food, take taxis, etc.  Legal language is certainly not something I've studied.

They also don't use the email address I provided them.  So, I cannot forward the messages to the Seoul office.  Nor do they text me from a number I can text to in reply... you know so I might say... yeong-eo juseyo, hangugmal ajik chal motaeyo... or something to that effect.

So, why on earth are these people so adamant about using only Korean in their communications with me.  It seems as if they are purposely making this difficult for me.  I've always heard that Busan was a bit anti-foreign, is this an indication of this?  In a city of over 3 million, how hard is it to attempt to reply to someone in the language of the documentation they submitted?  Not only that, in English, the 2nd language of the world... I'm not talking Urdu here.  

Any advice on dealing with the Busan Labor Board?

Chilli
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Joined: 07/02/2012
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

I filed a complaint,  wrote to Lee Chae Phil via Herald and directly, about what I perceive to be a lack of services for foreigners, institutional racism, and in corruption of protocol by them. I have expressed these views to them , as my opininon.I have reported my case officer to the police.

Glad you posted this. Please write to the Molab 506@moel.go.kr, or try the local help service provided on Koreabridge, by the Foreign Workers help centre. You can find that, or write to Times or Herald, they are writing a lot about possible corruption, and corrupt processes here, right now. The lack of English is unreal, and I had no service, as I define it.Try calling, you'll end up at E people.I have many recordings of my phone calls to the labour board, MEST and others.

FYI- I have been fighting my case for 6 months. They never use an interpreter, it has cost me over $1,000 dollars in fees. I'm presently awaiting a decision from a Prosecutor ,on whether he will sue my old University in Kimhae. I was threatened , blackmailed, defamed and bullied too, for over 4 years . Keep going, the more like you , the better. If you are in Private school, it's MEST, and they have no service at all, full stop, as I was told by them.

 

Disclaimer- I state my complaints based as an opinion, based on my experiences, and my complaints to Minstry of Justice. This does not reflect the views of the mods, Koreabridge site.

chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

OK, so an 'official' courier came by today and dropped off a letter I had to sign for.  This is of course after he tried to open my locked door, before I answered it (wtf).

I signed for a document, again... all Korean legalese.  I just got it translated.  Apparently it is a summons to appear in court at 10am this morning, roughly 6 hours after it was delivered.

Um... 

Chilli
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Joined: 07/02/2012
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Are you sure it's Court?

Please keep that, photo it and keep a record. Did you sign for it? They will have a log of the time hopefully. Good(not really) to see that I'm not alone. I have a problem with the local filth too. They have been interefering with my case in my opinion. 

I have tried to find out what IA is Korean, cos they reckon it does not exist. From now on, keep times, logs ans recordings of your calls, if you have actually been served. I think, it is a notice to appear at a hearing with your old boss myself. Don't stress it. Court is a huge step and needs a fair amount of evidence

Trust me, it's probably a hearing at the Labour Board. It's more difficult to sue here than you think, even for your old boss too.

 

Here is an example of a replica- not real petition to E people - if you feel unhappy at your treament.

 

 

Application for Civil Petitions

1. Civil Petitioner   K--- and  Ministry of --------

① Name : H----y C----e

② Residential Address :# -------------- Ha--ok (-)

                       ------- Dong

                       G----------

                       761- 656----

                       Kyunsungnamdo

 

2. Petition Descriptions (Describe your petition contents within one or two pages.)

I am not happy with the treatment that I have received at ----- ------- station. I have complained by telephone - times, have spoken to complaints department, and have been round and round in circles.

 

 I wanted to make an official complaint about my process, but they keep putting it to the same people, I get the same people that I complain about, calling me back.

 

What is going on? I try to make a full statement and the D—t--ve only focuses on one, tiny part (not a statement), he cannot believe that is my statement, doesn’t give enough time to make complete statement. I made a tape of this, have a witness and I recorded it. They do not enter the full statement of evidence or charges.

 

My criminal accusations against my UNI were racism, defamation and many more. – Not only defamation.

 

Why are they left off??????????????????????????????????? Four years of evidence, left off of this hate cr-me, in my mind. The statement, paper conditions are clear and my tapes too, check my statement. I signed on for these, on every page. There is no excuse for not reading, re-doing the condition or my emails- the ----------- told me he would.

 

The-------- have a budget and there are many free translation services. I even Ccd my complaint to the F----- workers association. I’ll send this to them too. There is no excuse for------ not using translators; I have to pay for mine. I have records my evidence, to make my complaints, and saved texts, and kakao talk messages from the various -----men. I saved my emails and conversations too.

 

I do not believe they have provided me with the ------ service; I want my case re-started from the beginning, as there are many breaches of ------ protocol in my opinion and I can prove it. I don’t like people wasting my time, money and mishandling me, siphoning the accusations, or the evidence into one area i.e. d------on.

 

I want the report provided; the witness’s recalled by a new, non-Kyunsungnando -----------and a new case o-----r. He has only focused on De--ation. I told him to check my statement and he has not. There are clear conditions agreed upon and my recording and translators can back me on this

 

I do not feel confident in the local --------, and their treatment of me, or foreigners, I’m sorry.

 

chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Apparently it's a new branch manager.  When I finished the contract I made complaints to the local (Dongnae) and corporate office (Gangnam).  These of course fell on deaf ears.  Where previously I was being offered re-hire throughout the country at any of the other branches, from that point forward, they no longer return me emails.  Imagine that?

So, you can probably guess at my reluctance to chat with this new branch manager regarding this issue.  But, perhaps considering the situation, it might not be a bad idea.  If it's due to be a hassle for him, perhaps he can suss it out with the local director and at least get me my severance.  I know pension is stipulated by labor law, but this hagwon chain seems to have greased many palms and bent many laws... they have it down to a science.  The question of severance though, is in black and white in my contract... the language of which is English... and English only.

robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...
Sorry to hear of your problem . I would suggest going to Labor Board with a Korean . However a faster way to get your money i think would be hire a lawyer . Lawsuits get people moving fast when other ways fail . If you have a contract it should be same in English and Korean if its different I would imagine thats illegal . Lawyers would know best about this
robertpusan64
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Joined: 03/28/2011
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...
Another avenue you may want to try is to go to the Education Board in the area of the school . I think they would be interested in a school if it is really breaking a contract .
Dogarse
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Joined: 04/15/2010
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

I can sympathise with your siutation but I gotta say you sound like a bit of a ****.  Do you really think a Korean government agency is anti-foreigner because they carry out their official work in Korean?

Would you call an American government agency racist if they corresponded with a Korean in a similar situation only in English?  I highly doubt it.

chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

1.)  The paperwork was downloaded from an English-language website.  The paperwork was filled out in English.  (The paperwork requested an email address, which would have aided me greatly if they used it.)

2.)  I was guided through the process of filling out the paperwork by a Korean who spoke English.  She works in Seoul.  She was very polite and courteous.  She did warn me that Busan doesn't have English language services.

3.)  Why doesn't Busan have English language services?  And, if they can't hire somebody with a modicum of English to at least respond to emails, why don't they ask the Seoul office (whom I first spoke with... in English), for help?

If you are new to Busan, this area, the Kyeongsangnam-do area, is the center of one of the most conservative political parties in the country.  I'm not exaggerating when I say there is a strong current of anti-foreign sentiment down here.  After a few years, you'll notice the difference.  I've never had to deal with a government agency before though, aside from Immigration.  I had heard it was like this, but didn't expect it to be so obvious.

Chilli
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Joined: 07/02/2012
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Hardly efficient, or cost effective to waste time, is it? I mean, they know he is a Waykook. What's the harm in putting it in both languages? They claim to be a dynamic, world player, then why not act like one please. Dinosaurs if you ask me, but you won't.

My personal belief is that this is the UK of the 80s. The racism here is in your face, every day, in my opinion. It is actually holding South Korea back economically, if you ask me, but you're not. Now, we have finger printing to protect us from ourselves. I know which one they can start with. I'm not talking about the majority of decents here by the way.

There's a certain age group , a spoilt, spoiled, soiled generation, who think their poo dont' -----,  and that they created everything. Ingrates, want to take , take ,take, us to buy ,buy, buy! Yet, we're not "really" welcome to work freely, shop freely, have sex freely , got to some clubs freely, or kids freely, etc, here. ( IMO)

 

hockmuth
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Joined: 09/12/2010
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

.

bluemoon
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Joined: 08/05/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...
My first trip to the labor board in Busan three years ago, I took a Korean woman with strong English skills and inordinate courage along with me. We eventually recovered 1.3M of the 7M I was owed, and it was an unseemly process in which she was muscled by the labor board agents and opposing employers. I felt awful for having asked for her help. This time around, I have enlisted the help of LOFT, the Legal Office for Foreign Teachers in Seoul. They hung out a shingle a few months ago and have been buried in claims ever since - clearly, there is a need. I realized that Busan still had no capacity for English speaker's claim management, and wasn't willing to pursue unpaid wages on my own. No way would I ask a Korean friend to help. My former Korean employer and her foreign husband have successfully operated their hagwon outside the law from jump in Busan, so my personal limitations in pursuit of pay extend beyond language. Busan is an awesome city, but by no means global or foreigner friendly to the extent that one is encouraged to expect. In my experience, the enforcement of laws and standards are deficient in terms of employment, pedestrian and traffic safety, and procurement of goods and services, to name a few. Compared to Seoul and many other cities in Korea, Busan is often backwards, uncivilized, and unfriendly. The accomodation of and attitude towards English speakers and foreigners in general is hit and miss. The only sure thing is that a foreigner's money is always green. Foreigners are invited to come to the dynamic global city, and the 'when in Rome' argument for services in only Korean is tired and contextually inconsistent with progress and global dynamism. I hope the original poster can find an opportunity for a fair hearing beyond minimal accomodation characterized by ignorance and arrogance. I hope the powers that be in Busan can see beyond the cosmetics, artifice, and pandering and institute systems in English that are accessible, effective, fair, and well deserved.
Chilli
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Joined: 07/02/2012
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Here, here, well put. Glad you mentioned the "When in Rome" part. Do you how many Co-workers, relatives, government officials have said that too me. I have hours of recordings over the last year. I recorded all of my calls to them.Please send this tale to the Herald, Chosun Iblo or Times. We need more action on these things. I have decided to keep going with this, until change. I will spend the next 30 years of my energy to seek change here on this biased.

chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Went to the Labor Board with my current manager. He seems a nice guy and was angry to hear what had happened to me. However, his English is not so good and he didn't prepare for the consultation whatsoever. So, we sat down with the current manager of my former place of employment across from the LB drone and it was a spiral of nonsense upon nonsense. 

The new manager of my old hagwon basically talked over my present manager and insisted on using a contract that I signed in Seoul prior to moving to my Busan branch as a preliminary offer and not the one that I signed with my actual branch upon arrival in Busan. The one that I signed in Busan actually bears my signature, the director's signature and dates on each page. 

The first contract, again, only signed by me, makes no mention of severance or 'bonus'. The second contract signed by myself and the director, lowers my base hours (I was an hourly employee)... essentially lowering my base salary. The claim was that they were a small branch and couldn't guarantee me that many hours. But, it also contained the 'bonus pay' proviso at the END of the contract. Note how END is in CAPS... this is important later in my story. At the time, they stated that this was a trade-off for the lower base guaranteed pay and was that OK? I said yes and signed it. Begin classes the next day. 

A quick aside, this same academy pulled a similar second contract swap out with other teachers in which they were denied health insurance. 

So, what they are trying to do, at least in my opinion is have their cake and eat it too. They can claim that both contracts are valid to their benefit. Right? Ridiculous! 

Regardless, back to the actual meeting with the LB drone. She hadn't even realized until 3 hours into the consultation that the contract my former academy had presented her was different than the one I was pointing to. When she did realize it, she began to look at it a bit and the previous academy's manager got nervous. I mean, visibly shaking when he tried to use his phone to send a text. 

But, all she did was flip through it after she realized it was a different contract than the one she was provided and shrug her shoulders. Stating it was in English... mollayo... etc. My present manager wasn't a big help to me I was beginning to realize at this point. 

In the end, she had the gall to point out that because the length of my contract was a few days short of a full calendar year I wasn't entitled to severance by Korean law. It ran from a Monday to a Friday and I completed the terms of the contract. As per the contract, I am due that amount... no? Apparently not... at least not in Busan.

Oh... and, the new manager stayed to 'consult' with the Labor Board worker after we left.  I wonder what sort of envelope may have passed hands during this consultation.

I also realized, that they didn't give my tax return when I worked there.  I am pretty sure they will have a more difficult time leaning on the tax man.  Has anyone on here been able to get a tax return they were owed?  What was the process?  I found the Korean Tax website, it has a calculator and English menus. It looks like they still owe me about $600 in tax return on top of the 'bonus'.

supermansfoot
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Joined: 11/02/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I don't think you have much chance of getting anymore money. It is the employees responsibility to pay so unless you have payslips confirming that the taxes were deducted from your pay you won't be able to claim that back.

I also experienced difficulties with the public school system in that I technically worked one day shy of a year (I needed to travel from Incheon to Busan when I arrived here and they took that as my first day working) so they tried to withold my bonus pay (I eventually received it after a meeting with the dept of education). I guess this is similar to your situation.

Finally it is also true that contracts not written in Korean and English are not legally binding here. If there isn't any Korean then you can only rely upon the good nature of your employer to be fair.

Sorry for the bad news, hope the rest of your experiences here are better.

chaz47
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Joined: 10/22/2009
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

In fact, I had to spend one week training for the job prior to my contract's start.

I do have payslips and the same bank account from that job though, 

dude777
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Joined: 04/08/2012
Re: Dealing with the Labor Board here in Busan? No English ...

I also realized, that they didn't give my tax return when I worked there.  I am pretty sure they will have a more difficult time leaning on the tax man.  Has anyone on here been able to get a tax return they were owed?  What was the process?  I found the Korean Tax website, it has a calculator and English menus. It looks like they still owe me about $600 in tax return on top of the 'bonus

I am pretty certain it is your employer who settles your taxes for you and if there is a problem, you go to him/her first. The real worry with this is the tax office only go by what they are told and if that adds up, why would they care? 

What you can do if is you have kept your slips and can see the tax paper sent by your employer does not match AND the employer refuses to adjust this, then you can ask the tax office to help you. As others have said, it would probably be far less hassle and easier for you to pay for an accountant to do this for you.

Your first point of call is to get a copy of the end of year tax settlement sent to the tax office by your employer. (Done January each year) You can then match it and check it online at the tax office. Any issues, try first with the employer.

 

 

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