Here's something off LabourStart's daily coverage (below). I think it's significant that the government is looking to punish particular countries for the actions of its foreign workers. Recently we've seen the Korean government get national governments involved in crackdowns and now that the government has taken over the recruitment of foreign workers it is trying to threaten sending countries into keeping the discipline up of their own expatriates, transnationally. Of course, workplace runaways will continue to happan as long as migrant workers' rights, time, and income are controlled almost solely by their employers. Then there is also the question of maintaining a permanent population of migrant workers (over 500,000) whom are permanently alienated from settlement. Obviously, if migrants are doing the crucial work in specific sectors and for long periods of time there are going to be circumstances where they are going to choose to stay, yet Korean immigration policies have yet to accord to this issue. Instead, every three years, it plans to force those workers home. I think that as the first round of Employment Permit System (which started official last summer) migrants near the end of their term, once again their will be massive overstaying. Anyways, more on that later...
Foreign Migrant Workers Must Pass Korean Language Proficiency Test
Starting next year, foreigners who wish to work in Korea under the work permit system must pass a Korean language proficiency test. Those planning to work in Korea in 2006, as well as industrial trainees, must pass the test this year, which will be given several times a year around the world.
The Ministry of Justice is also working on measures to reduce the number of foreign migrant workers leaving their designated jobs. Countries that saw more than 20 percent of their workers abandon designated workplaces here will be barred from sending more industrial trainees to Korea in the future.