〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
As Korean employees return to the office, so does ‘gapjil’ workplace harassment
In 2014, the vice president, also the daughter of the owner of Korean Air assaulted two flight attendants of the airline who served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of a porcelain bowl as their plane prepared to take off and ordered the aircraft to return to the gate. Then in 2019, her mother was found guilty of the charges of forcing her staff to kneel for forgetting to buy ginger, kicking and spitting on them for being late, and striking them on the forehead with a mop handle for seemingly no reason. These were just a few high-profile workplace abuse cases that went public in South Korea. Then what the situations are like in ordinary workplaces where seniority and hierarchy must be strictly respected? Gapjil, is an expression referring to an arrogant and authoritarian attitude or actions of people in South Korea who have positions of power over others. It has long been a predominant problem, especially within elite families and societies. Women, part-timers, and gig workers seem to be the most likely victims. After the pandemic, as many office workers are returning to the office, workplace harassment seems to be on the rise. What about the situation in North Korea?
Enjoy reading the article and learning about office harassment in South Korea.