Scholastic Min John Kim SJ, YIUTSARI Jesuit Centre for Migrant Workers, Gimpo, Korea

I would like to speak about a foreign worker I tried to help. When I met him, he asked me to help him to change companies. From the first, I realized it would be difficult. At present our Korean government imposes some impediments toward migrant workers changing companies because employers want the migrants to continually serve their company. I explained to him that we would have a difficult time getting him released from the company. When I contacted the company, the company’s response came as no surprise. The employer shouted at me: “Are you Korean? If so, you should not help this migrant. Why do you bother me? Mind your own business.” If the company had violated Korean labour law, I could have followed the correct legal process. However, he wanted to change the company because of cultural differences, so I could do nothing except trying to persuade the employer.