New Queensland Premier Campbell Newman recently vowed to save $100m by scrapping excess expenses such as providing free tea and coffee to government workers. While this received cries of anger, it’s really not much compared to austerity measures faced by workers in South Korea.
The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, has urged civil servants to wear short pants and sandals in the sweltering summer months from June to August, in a new campaign known as “Cool Biz”. He even walked the talk when he performed on the catwalk as a model for the “Cool Biz” fashion show.
But the campaign isn’t part of the government’s efforts to instil a more casual feel at work. It’s about ensuring workers don’t suffer heatstroke as a result of the decision to save energy by switching off the A/C in all government officesuntil the temperature goes above 28C – that is 28C inside the building. This approximately equates to 30C outside.
However, Mayor Park’s shorts demo is not something he’ll be regularly sporting. His office will remain air-conditioned with ‘gout’ cited as the reason.
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