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KCTU Leadership to Resign En Masse Next January

Posted October. 12, 2005 07:04,   


The existing leadership of Korea Confederation of Trade Unions, including Secretary General Lee Soo-ho, has decided to resign en masse next January, one year before its term expires, over the corruption scandal involving its vice chairman, Kang Seung-kyu.

Under these circumstances, as hard-line rightists in the umbrella union are expected to dominate, experts worry that the already sour relationship between labor, management, and government will reach its worst state.

The KCTU held a press conference in the morning of October 11 in the KCTU building in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, and announced, “After the central executive committee discussed the future of the leadership in our organization, it decided to tentatively keep the existing leadership in place before holding an early election to elect new leadership in the representative conference of next January.”

A new executive body with three-year term will be formed by the early election.

The central executive body positively reviewed the en masse resignation of the leadership in an all-night meeting. But it concluded that a resignation could make the entire labor community feeling lethargic since there are mountains of pending issues to be addressed in the regular session of National Assembly this fall, including legislation on protection of part-time workers and roadmap, or measures for advancing laws and systems related to labor-management relationship.

Lee said right after the central executive committee meeting, “I will make sure that I have unlimited responsibility for the corruption scandal, and that I will not run for any KCTU election in the future.”

As some in the union oppose Lee’s tentatively remaining in office and demand an immediate resignation of the leadership and running of emergency system, internal conflicts are predicted to continue for the time being.

Keuk-In Bae Kwang-Hyun Kim bae2150@donga.com kkh@donga.com