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Labor office launches probe into employer paying migrant workers in fake money

A local labor office said Friday that it is investigating allegations that a subcontractor had paid Vietnamese migrant workers in fake money for their farm labor. 

Paper coupons given to Vietnamese workers (An association of migrant workers' rights based in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province)
Paper coupons given to Vietnamese workers (An association of migrant workers' rights based in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province)

According to an association of migrant workers’ rights organizations based in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the subcontractor paid the workers in paper coupons, instead of cash, promising to exchange the coupons with real currency when they wanted. Their employer, however, did not exchange the coupons in full when requested.

The investigation came following a complaint with the Daegu Regional Employment and Labor Office filed by the association on Wednesday.

The subcontractor recruited Vietnamese migrant workers, dispatched them to farms in Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, and made them work for more than nine hours per day without a legal permit, according to the organizations.

The subcontractor exploited the workers’ status, which does not allow them to work in the country, and warned them against reporting to the authorities, the association said, calling for stern punishment for the employer.

There are 20 migrant workers still working under the contract signed with the subcontractor, according to the organizations.

(laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)
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