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Gov’t Breaks Off Talks With Public Servant Unions

Posted October. 28, 2009 06:46,   


The government yesterday canceled a group negotiation with public servant unions over the participation of two representatives from the outlawed Korea Government Employees’ Union.

The Public Administration and Security Ministry said, “An illegal group is ineligible as a party in group negotiations. We nullified the second preliminary negotiations with representatives from each union Monday.”

The representatives were from 74 public servants’ unions, including those representing technical workers and staff from educational offices and provincial and municipal authorities nationwide.

The second round of preliminary negotiations was to follow the first held Oct. 13 with 10 union representatives. The meeting was nixed, however, after the unions rejected the ministry’s request to exclude two representatives from the outlawed union, Chairman Sohn Young-tae and his deputy Kim Il-woo.

The unions made 597 demands in the first negotiation, including the abolition of the civil service exam and a guarantee that union leaders can participate in union activities during working hours.

A ministry source said, “Since we cannot negotiate with leaders from an illegal body, we automatically stopped the negotiations. When the illegal issues are addressed, namely, if they select two legitimate representatives or just the remaining eight people join the negotiations, we can resume dialogue.”