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Tripartite Commission Failed to Reach a Deal

Posted July. 22, 2002 22:59,   


The Tripartite Commission comprising of labor, management and government failed to reach an agreement on legalizing the formation of public officials` labor union, leaving it to the government`s hands. Also management and labor failed to see eye to eye over the legislation for the introduction of the five-day workweek system

The Tripartite Commission held a plenary session attended by Chang Yeong-chul, chairman of the commission, Bang Yong-seok, Labor Minister, Shing Guk-hwan, Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister, Lee Nam-sun, chairman of Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), and Kim Chang-sun, chairman of Korea Employers Federation (KEF). In the meeting, the commission tried to find a middle ground over the controversial issue of whether to legalize public officials unions, but to no avail.

In the meeting, Cho Yeong-taek, Vice Home Affairs Minister said, "It is inappropriate to use the term, labor union, in an organization of public officials. The government could mad concession if labor uses terms like public officials` cooperative or public officials association."

In response, Lee Nam-sun, FKTU chairman, said, "We can use labor union since three parties concerned already agreed to allow workplace council in the first stage and labor union in the second stage back in 1998."

The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs decided to accept seven issues agreed upon by the commission out of 12 issued regarding public officials union. The ministry also said it will provide a legislation for the remaining issues based on the government proposal and recommendations from the labor sector and to enact it into law within this year.

Meanwhile, the Tripartite Commission tried to mediate compromise between FKTU and KEF through a closed-door meeting over the five-day workweek system. But the two sides strongly confronted with each other over the range of wage preservation after the introduction of the five-day workweek system.

The government decided to provided a legislation stipulating that public officials` labor union should be introduced in phases starting from July, 2003 unless the Tripartite Commission fails to reach an agreement on the introduction of the five-day workweek system.

Jin Lee leej@donga.com