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Labor Movement Laws to Be Strictly Enforced

Posted March. 01, 2008 03:21,   


On Feb. 29, Labor Minister Lee Young-hee said “Those found violating laws regarding labor movements will be held fully responsible, even after the fact.”

In an interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Lee said, “I have not considered the dispatch of public security to the sites of labor-management disputes, but my position is that violators of the law should certainly be held responsible.”

“Just as President Lee Myung-bak was a role model by accepting a special probe and being investigated himself, the law should be accepted by powerful people and labor activists without exception,” he said. “It seems that those in the labor community have the notion that the law is not important and a thing of previous authoritative regimes.”

Regarding the labor community’s opposition to government restructuring, Minister Lee said, “It’s not right to make restructuring an excuse while turning a blind eye to recklessness and waste in the public sector. To block what is rational is to go backwards in time.”

When asked about the announcement by the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions to start an all-out strike centered on the public sector, between late June and early July, he said, “It’s a very conservative labor movement that is hoping to maintain its power.”

He also disclosed his desire to raise the employment issue in public sphere, saying, “In South Korea, the form of employment is largely divided into two types. One is short-term employment that is less than two years and the other is long-term employment. But there can be an alternative to improve the flexibility of the employment system by initiating employment of an intermediate-length, one that renews its contract every four to five years.”