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Labor Ministry Made Inappropriate Negotiation with Labor Union

Labor Ministry Made Inappropriate Negotiation with Labor Union

Posted April. 25, 2007 03:16,   


At a labor ministry’s briefing on April 24, Environment & Labor Committee lawmakers asked questions concerning Dong-A Ilbo’s report that the Ministry of Labor made an inappropriate negotiation with a labor ministry public servants union in regard to turning employment support center consultants into public servants.

Can a Council Have a Labor Union Agreement? –

The Ministry of Labor explained, “We had an informal gathering with a council, not with a labor union, to collect opinions.” Labor Minister Lee Sang-soo said, “They never tried to form a labor union.”

It was pointed out in the National Assembly, however, that the public servants labor union is not a council.

According to Grand National Party lawmaker Lee Kyeong-jae, the labor union declared on Article 1, “This organization is named the Labor Ministry Public Servants Labor Union.” Article 2 states, “The Labor Ministry Public Servants Labor Union aims to promote the rights and benefits of members and provide better conditions by ensuring their constitutional rights of labor.”

Labor Minister Lee explained, “They never used the word, ‘labor union,’ at meetings with us.”

Environment & Labor Committee Chair Hong Joon-pyo responded, “The union declares that it is a labor union. The minister is trying to cover the truth.”

Lawmaker Lee pointed out, “If it is a council, it shouldn’t be labor union chairman Cho Min-hyeong, but instead council representative Han who should discuss issues with the labor minister. The chairman, the secretary-general, and directors do not represent the council.”

Labor Minister Lee agreed, “We should have had a talk with the council.”

Can Government Policies and Promotion Be Negotiated?-

Lawmakers also questioned the ministry’s discussion with the union of government policies and institution operation, which is forbidden by a related law.

GNP lawmaker Ahn Hong-joon pointed out, “Strictly speaking, the union is illegal because it includes labor supervisors who are not allowed to join a labor union by the public servants labor union law. I’m surprised to hear that the ministry discussed government policies and negotiated over promotions with an illegal union.”

Labor minister Lee explained, “We did not negotiate but instead just discussed how to improve working conditions with council executives.”

Retorting that policy decisions and appointments cannot be discussed with a council, Ahn pointed out, “It is not an informal gathering but a meeting for negotiations if the ministry made seven meetings with the union over seven days.”

Why No Announcement? –

The union’s decision not to make an announcement against turning employment consultants into public servants is being questioned among members.

Some of those who strongly object to it even tried to form an “employment support labor union.”

A message posted by “Ryu Man-jae” on the union homepage said, “I ask the union to give the money for a newspaper announcement to the ‘employment support labor union.’ I’ll make an announcement as soon as I receive it.”