South Koreans Workers Are Using Spy Gadgets to Fight Workplace Bullying

South Koreans Workers Are Using Spy Gadgets to Fight Workplace Bullying

There was a new labor law passed in South Korea last year which allows workers to secretly report alleged abuse or harassment from their bosses

Jang Sung-Churi, chief executive of electronics firm Auto Jungbo Co Ltd is profiting from the new labor law and is increasingly selling gadgets disguised in leather belts, eyeglasses, pens, and USB sticks.

These type of gadgets are popular for employees in South Korea where abusive behaviour of people in power is so pervasive that there is even a word for it, “gabjil”. This kind of work behaviour has been made known internationally a few years back, especially with the Korean Air Fury event in 2014 when the vice president of the airline Heather Cho assaulted a crew member in the way Class I macadamia nuts were served.

Just now, the government issued new legislation which came into force this year in July, and says that owners of companies who “unfairly demote or dismiss” workers who complain of harassment can be jailed for three years or fined up to 30 million (RM104,185).

According to Jang Sung-Churl from Auto Jungbo Co Ltd, sales of voice recorders have doubled this year, compared to last year. He added that other popular devices include electronic car keys and cigarette lighters: “You can make any shapes, honestly. This glasses frame is a camcorder; it’s useful in places you cannot carry some of these devices. The pen is the most popular though.”

Since the new law came into effect, the labour ministry in South Korea has registered 572 file complaints by employees against their workplace, averaging 17.9 cases registered per day.