As fears of a new strain of coronavirus have grown, the labor union of Baemin delivery workers has demanded that the management ban the delivery to the regions in which Chinese are concentrated. Critics point out that the union is stepping up and fanning racist hatred toward the Chinese.
The labor union sent an official letter, titled "Cooperation related to Wuhan Pneumonia," to its management, "Woowa Youngmens."
In an official statement, the union called for a ban on delivery and payment of risk allowances in Chinese densely-populated areas, saying that anxiety and risk are rising due to the nature of delivery workers who are forced to contact many people despite the spread of the Wuhan Pneumonia.
This has raised criticism as it calls for limiting delivery services to Chinese people. It is pointed out that excluding services without reasonable reasons is an act of discrimination in violation of equal rights.
"By ostracizing a group based on vague fear and anxiety about a particular group, we cannot help but call it abhorrent behavior," said a professor at a law school.
"For now, it is important to provide support for dissemination of expected rules and personal hygiene management," said a representative for the management, "We will actively review if government-level guidelines are issued in the future."
In the wake of the controversy, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), an upper organization, made a public apology on the issue. KCTU said there was a very inappropriate expression of minority hatred in the official letter sent by the labor union of the delivery service, adding that it offers words of apology to those injured.
Meanwhile, the "Woowa Youngmens" plans to sell their shares to German company Delivery Hero (DH).
Controversy is under way over monopolies as DH already owns the country's second- and third-largest delivery app companies, effectively grabbing more than 90 percent of the delivery app market. In particular, there are concerns that fees for merchants and consumers will go up.