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Ruling Party to Give Bargaining Right to Majority Union

Posted December. 08, 2009 09:01,   


The ruling Grand National Party yesterday decided to grant the collective bargaining right to the labor union having the majority of a company’s workers as members if multiple unions are allowed from July 2012.

The party today will propose a labor law revision reflecting this opinion as its official platform.

Shin Sang-jin, head of the party’s labor task force, told The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, “We decided to add this opinion to labor law.”

On other matters such as forming negotiating delegates from multiple unions at a company, the revision will leave them at the unions’ discretion. If no union has the majority of a company’s workers as members, however, the union with the most support from union members through a vote will receive the collective bargaining right.

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions has reportedly insisted on giving the right to the union with the majority of a company’s workers as members to secure the status of existing unions.

The party once considered a proportional representative system, in which each union sends its representatives in proportion to the number of its members, to form a bargaining team. This plan was scrapped in the final stage, however.

Teachers’ unions have a proportional representative system but have clashed with each other in the process of forming a negotiating body.

Separately, the Labor Ministry will introduce a time-off system designed to eliminate full-time union members but recognize essential union activities as paid work in April next year at the latest.

To implement the system, a task force comprising labor, management and the government will be formed in January or February next year to determine the scope of union activities and the time each activity takes.

After the task force releases its results, the ministry will publish manuals and educate union members and public officials from May next year.

The ministry in March or April will also revise enforcement ordinances in line with the revised law on multiple unions, which will take effect in July 2012.

needjung@donga.com sys1201@donga.com