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Economic and Labor Circles Clash over Bill on Non-Regular Jobs

Economic and Labor Circles Clash over Bill on Non-Regular Jobs

Posted April. 22, 2005 23:34,   


Ahead of deliberation of a bill on non-regular jobs, labor and economic circles held news conferences on April 22 and called for “opposition of the passage of the government bill” and “the passage of the government bill,” respectively.

In response, the conflict between labor and management regarding the matter of non-regular jobs is highly likely to rush into a face-to-face clash.

On the same day, Lee Yong-deuk, Chairman of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), and Lee Soo-ho, Chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU), held a joint news conference, announcing in front of the National Assembly in Yeouido, Youngdeungpo-gu, Seoul, that they are opposed to the bill on non-regular jobs planned by the government, and began to stage a hunger strike without a time limit. This is the first time for the chairmen of both groups to go on strike together.

They insisted, “The National Assembly should stipulate ‘the principle of equal pay for equal work’ for temporary and contract workers and accept the opinion given by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK), in which the commission asserted that unless there are objective grounds, hiring contingent workers (temporary contract workers) should be prohibited.”

The FKTU and KCTU said that if the National Assembly passes the existing government bill, they would stage an indefinite general strike.

On the other hand, on that day, chairmen of the five major economic associations, including Park Yong-sung, Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, held a joint news conference at the Lotte Hotel, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, and stated, “Concerning the bill on non-regular jobs, the opinion given by the NHRCK has just stirred up the discord between labor and management,” urging, “The view should be repealed immediately.”

Chairmen of the five major economic associations argued, “If the bill reflects the NHRCK’s opinion, it will aggravate non-regular workers’ employment unstableness and youth unemployment,” adding, “It should be passed in the special session to be held in April as is.”

At the news conference, Chairman Park, Lee Su-young, Chairman of the Korea Employers Association, Kim Jae-chul, Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association, Kim Yong-gu, Chairman of the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, and Jo Geon-ho, established Vice Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, in place of Kang Shin-ho, the Chairman of Federation of Korean Industries who was on an overseas business trip, attended.

It is quite unusual for chairmen of the five major economic associations to hold a joint news conference, which is interpreted as their strong will to convey their opinions to political and labor circles.

Labor minister Kim Dae-hwan said at a seminar sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, held at the Grand Hilton Seoul in Hongeun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, “The Ministry of Labor will maintain the current policy trend of the government that has focused on the advancement of labor markets through laws and principles,” clarifying, “It will not accept the opinion given by the NHRCK.”