ISC Research Paper: Global Movement for Higher Minimum Wage and the Real Situation of Korean Companies Operating Abroad

Recently, demonstrations have been breaking out around the world demanding an increase in the minimum wage. This is the result of wages that have remained too low since the financial crisis exacerbated by the continuous inflation along with exchange rate increases which have made it impossible to guarantee a minimum standard of living. According to the “Global Wage Report 2012-13” by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the global average real wage (excluding China) has not increased since the 2008 financial crisis. Minimum wage became a big issue not only in Asia, known as the world’s factory due to its cheap labor but also in the US and the UK. In the US, the movement is spreading propelled by fast food workers. In the UK, the average real wage dropped 13.8% after the 2008 financial crisis prompting the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), one of the UK’s leading independent employers’ organization, to demand a pay raise.

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