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Ex-Minister Criticizes Labor Policy

Posted June. 23, 2006 04:06,   


Kim Dae-hwan, former Minister of Labor, criticized the labor policies of the government, saying, “To draw a comparison with the labor policies, the government has just tried to shut the stable door without knowing the horse has fled.”

He said at a monthly discussion of Korea Forum for Progress, titled, “Korea’s labor management relationship needs to change,” on June 22 in Bank Hall, Seoul, that the current outdated labor-management relationship can be blamed on labor, management and the government.

He stepped down from the office last February.

He said, “Twenty years have passed since the democratic movement in 1987. However, the labor-management relationship is still outdated. Not only foreign investors, but also Korean people consider the labor-management relationship as antagonistic and conflicting.”

He also criticized labor and management parties, saying, “Labor still has the feeling of being victimized and is being politicized. Management also was only keen to overcome crisis with stopgap measures.”

He stressed that “even on strike, labor should not go beyond resisting work. Both labor and management parties should keep in mind that a strike is only a means to a compromise.”

He said to the government that “For labor and management parties to abide by laws, the government should play the role of a mediator.”

Former Prime Minister Nam Deok-woo, director of the Korea Forum for Progress, said, “In the past, public officials devised one policy in an orderly manner, but these days there is no such uniting power. Partly for this reason, economic policies of the past became problematic nowadays.” He made the remark pointing to the fact that a judicial decision interfered in past economic policies, including the sale of Korea Exchange Bank.

Hyun-Jin Park witness@donga.com