“When The Camellia Blooms” Criticized By Union For Poor Working Conditions

The broadcasting staff union department of Hope Solidarity Labor Union has called out KBS 2TV’s “When the Camellia Blooms” for its poor working conditions.

On October 14, the union wrote in a statement, “KBS 2TV’s currently on-air Wednesday-Thursday drama ‘When the Camellia Blooms’ is forcing its staff to work long, punishing hours of labor; pressuring them to work under a business consignment agreement rather than a standard labor contract; and is currently filming without a contract.”

According to the statement, the union held talks with the drama’s production company Pan Entertainment on October 1 in order to resolve the situation of the staff working without contracts and for the protection of labor rights.

The union made demands including a limit of 14 hours of labor per day (excluding two hours of rest), departing at the KBS Annex and dispersing at the KBS Annex, inclusion of travel time in total hours of labor in case of departing from the KBS Annex to other areas (such as Boryeong or Pohang), and the inclusion of two hours for Boryeong and four hours for Pohang in the total hours of labor in the case of returning to the KBS Annex from other areas.

The production company, however, suggested 16 hours of labor per day (excluding two hours of rest) and exclusion of travel time to other areas (such as Boryeong and Pohang) from the total hours of labor.

After the negotiation, the drama filmed for a total of 21 hours on October 4 and offered a sauna to the staff as lodging so that they could leave for filming at 11 a.m. the next day. The union stated, “They revived the long-existing evil of 20-hour filming and sauna lodging.”

The union made the same demands to the production company for the second time, and added, “We strongly condemn the production company that suggests the long period of 20 hours of filming and saunas that don’t guarantee sleep. They violate the labor rights of the staff on the set of ‘When the Camellia Blooms’ and threaten their right to health and life.”

In July, the Ministry of Employment and Labor previously announced the results of its labor supervision of four dramas—”Mother of Mine,” “My Fellow Citizens,” “Doctor Prisoner,” and “Left-Handed Wife”(literal title)—where it took corrective measures stating that the staff working on sets fell under labor contracts despite mostly working under business consignment agreements.

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