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Obama signs memo to seek stronger overtime pay rules for certain salaried workers

WASHINGTON - Seeking to influence workers' incomes where possible, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum Thursday directing the Labor Department to devise new overtime rules that would make more workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay for their extra hours of work.

Gov't to delay enforcing reduced workweek

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) --- The government will suspend the enforcement of a bill to reduce the workweek for up to two years even if it wins parliamentary approval this year, the labor minister said Wednesday. Last year, the government proposed a bill that would cut the maximum weekly working hours, including overtime and holiday work, to 52 hours from the current 68 hours. The bill is aimed at protecting employees from long working hours and improve the nation's economy through job sharing. South Korea has one of the world's longest working hours.

Gov't to push for labor market flexibility in 3-year plan: sources

SEJONG, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- The government is expected to include measures aimed at enhancing labor market flexibility in its three-year innovation plan to be unveiled within this month, government sources said Thursday. The "three-year economic innovation plan," initiated by President Park Geun-hye earlier this year, is reportedly focused on revamping public organizations, streamlining regulations and nurturing promising industries in the service sector. It is expected to be announced later this month.

Employees at health care call centre sue company, saying they were forced to work unpaid OT

BOISE, Idaho - Customer service workers at a call centre for insurance exchanges established under the federal health care overhaul have sued their employer in federal court, saying they were forced to work unpaid overtime. The nine workers at a Boise facility who brought the suit against Maximus Inc. say the case could potentially apply to thousands of employees, and they're asking a judge to award damages exceeding $5 million.

Japan gov't panel proposes review of controls on working hours

A Japanese government panel called Thursday for reviewing regulations on working hours as part of efforts to boost Japan's industrial competitiveness. In an interim report, a subpanel of the government's industrial competitiveness council urged the introduction of a new system which requires business corporations to increase flexibility in the way employees work and pay only a certain amount of salary regardless of working hours.

Apple says death at Pegatron unrelated to working conditions

TAIPEI/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The death of a 15-year-old worker was not caused by working conditions at a Pegatron Corp factory, according to medical exports sent to the factory by Apple Inc. The boy died of pneumonia, the medical delegation said, after he apparently used someone else's ID to get a job at the Shanghai factory, which makes products for Apple.

Commuting times key factor for job selection among younger workers: survey

TORONTO, Cananda - A new survey says many Canadians consider the time it takes to get to work as important as the job itself. The survey by Oxford Properties and Environics Research Group found that 76 per cent of respondents wanted a reasonable commute to the office. All things being equal, 50 per cent considered commute time to be the No. 1 factor in choosing one employer over another. The majority of those surveyed said a commute time of less than 30 minutes was the appropriate travel time to work, in line with the average one-way Canadian commute of 29 minutes.

China asks the people about holidays

BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's holiday authorities on Wednesday started soliciting public opinion on three draft schemes of public holiday arrangements for 2014. A poll is running on the country's major news websites, with the Spring Festival holiday lasting seven days in all three schemes including weekends before and after. The major differences apply to the National Day holiday with options of three days, five days or seven days, all starting from Oct. 1. The latter two schemes include weekends.

Most firms burdened by moves to cut working hours: poll

By Nam Kwang-sik SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- A majority of South Korean companies are under pressure from a bill to cut their employees' working hours, which ranked high among a group of advanced countries, a poll showed Monday. According to the survey of 503 companies by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), most companies polled worried that, with the reduced working hours, they will fail to meet the deadline to deliver goods to their clients.

Greek retail workers protest Sunday shopping rules

ATHENS (Reuters) - Retail workers protested in Athens against a relaxation of rules restricting the number of Sundays a year when shops can open, a reform demanded by Greece's foreign lenders which aims to make its recession-hit economy more flexible. After opposition from small retailers and the Orthodox Church, the government has backed away from allowing retailers to trade on any Sunday. Instead, the new rule lets them operate on seven Sundays a year, up from two now.
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