Posted September. 28, 2013 06:42,
Seventy percent employment rate cannot be attained with government efforts alone, President Park Geun-hye said on Friday, stressing that social dialogue among labor, management and the government is very important to achieve the goal.
President Park made the remarks at the 84th main assembly of the Economic and Social Development Commission in Yeouido, Seoul. Achieving 70 percent in employment rate is possible when entrepreneurs, workers and labor and management organizations open up a path for co-progress and coexistence going beyond individual interest, and display wisdom to make concession and compromise with global mindset.
It was the first time in 10 years that a president attends a meeting of the labor, management and government body, since the attendance of former President Roh Moo-hyun in 2003. A source at the presidential office said, Her attendance reflects the desperation came from that it is difficult to achieve 70 percent in employment and 70 percent in the middle class population envisaged by the government as core agenda, without compromise between labor, management and the government. Some analysts say that President Park chose to attend the meeting due to signs of a crisis facing the commission because the Federation of Korean Trade Unions said on Monday it would not attend a special committee on wage and working hours by citing the recent controversy over ordinary wage.
A source at the presidential office said, Social dialogue refers to a system of communication aimed at forging a social pact among labor, management and the government, which they should generate to share jobs, including creation of jobs through the flextime employment system. President Park said, In order to ensure that the Economic and Social Development Commission will play practical role as an apparatus for social dialogue, the government will provide all possible support, adding, Labor, management and the government should build up trust through dialogue, and resolve lingering problems in labor-management relations and the labor market on the basis of trust.
A source at the presidential office said, As a role model of social dialogue, we used grand social compromise that European countries including Germany and the Netherlands achieved. The Netherlands attained curbing of wage hikes, reduction of working hours, and reinforcement of social safety net through the Wassenaar Agreement of 1982. Germany secured flexibility in the labor market, curbing of wage hikes and stabilization of employment through "Hartz reform" in 2003 to 2005.
President Park also said, Advanced countries including Germany and the Netherlands are overcoming national crises and creating jobs by displaying wisdom of concessions and compromise made by labor, management and the government. This means that introducing flexibility in the labor market and adjustment of wage levels are essential to expanding flextime employments. A source at the presidential office said, Workers inevitably feel burden from this system.
For this reason, President Park said, The process to innovate the labor market will inevitably entail the pain of egg hatching to both labor and management, in stressing social dialogue. Park said, It is time that Korea establishes advanced labor-management relations by ending the vicious cycle wherein workers suffer pain due to companies illicit labor activities, and companies lose competiveness due to workers illegal strikes. Emphasizing balance between work and family life, the president said, Korea should create an environment where women can comfortably select flextime employment, and flexible part-time employment system, so that they can work without discontinuation of their careers.