Emotional Labor and Human Rights Protection in the case of airlines

감정노동과 인권보호 - 항공사를 중심으로

  • Shin, Dong Chun (Kon-Kuk University, The Korea Society of Air and Space Law & Policy)
  • 신동춘 (건국대학교, 한국항공우주정책.법학회)
  • Received : 2014.12.04
  • Accepted : 2014.12.22
  • Published : 2014.12.30

Abstract

Recent examples of abuse by black consumers (including air travellers) against emotional laborers have become a serious social issue in Korea in that they are likely to violate human rights of those laborers. Emotional labor is a form of emotion regulation that creates a publicly visible facial and bodily display, and also emotional management within the workforce that creates a situation in which the emotion management by workers can be exchanged in the marketplace. Example professions that require emotional labor are: nurses, doctors, waiting staff, and television actors. However, as the economy moves from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, many more workers in a variety of occupational fields are expected to manage their emotions according to employer demands when compared to the past. One of symptoms deriving from emotional labor is smile mask syndrome abbreviated SMS, which is a psychological disorder proposed by professor Makoto Natsume where subjects develop depression and physical illness as a result of prolonged, unnatural smiling. And higher degree of using emotion regulation on the job is related to higher levels of employees' emotional exhaustion, and lower levels of employees' job satisfaction. In most part, emotional laborers are more abused and hurt by so called black consumers who are raising complaints relating to products and services purchased against service providers for the purpose of maliciously getting compensation. Against this background, the Korean Government abolished "the Consumer Protection Act" and instead promulgated "the Basic Consumer Act" in September 2006 which stipulates that consumers are expected to have protection as well as responsibility and duty. The Aviation Security Act cites the examples of prohibited behaviors (unruly passengers) while they are travelling. In addition, human rights of emotional laborers could be more protected by the enhancement of etiquettes and cavalry and improvement of culture and working environment.

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