Korean Cultural Center Shanghai beset by internal dispute
Published : Apr 9, 2021 - 15:57
Updated : Apr 9, 2021 - 15:57
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Yonhap)

The Korean Culture and Information Service is to look into a dispute among its staff at the Korean Cultural Center Shanghai, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The Culture Ministry said on Thursday that two employees at the center had reported the head of the Shanghai center to the Korean Culture and Information Service for using abusive language and demanding a resignation, among other claims.

Some 10 days after the reports were filed, the head requested the Korean Culture and Information Service to dismiss the two Korean employees, citing absence without notification, tardiness and inappropriate use of overtime work hours.

Meanwhile, some Korean and Chinese employees at the Shanghai center reported the two employees for sexual harassment and abusive language.

The two employees have not shown up at the office for over a year, since the conflict rose to the surface in March 2020, using sick leave and compensatory time. They were paid during the period.

“Compensatory time is a compensatory leave authorized by the head of the Korean Culture and Information Service for overtime work of administrative employees, approved by the Labor Standards Act. Not paying the employees without legal grounds can jeopardize the employees’ living, breaching the Labor Standards Act,” the Culture Ministry said through a press release Thursday.

On March 22, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the former head of the Korea Cultural Center Shanghai to return to Korea. The Foreign Affairs Ministry will convene a disciplinary committee meeting to investigate his responsibility in the dispute.

The Korean Culture and Information Service has been investigating reports related to the two employees on “unreasonable and unconventional” aspects to their overtime work.

By Im Eun-byel (