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The Presidential Office vows to veto the ‘Yellow Envelope Act’

The Presidential Office vows to veto the ‘Yellow Envelope Act’

Posted February. 22, 2023 07:47,   

Updated February. 22, 2023 07:47


The Democratic Party and Justice Party of Korea passed the so-called “Yellow Envelope Act” (the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act with the proposed amendment of Articles 2 and 3) with the assent of only the opposition party at the general meeting of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee on Tuesday.

Votes on the amendment bill were taken on a show of hands, with nine votes in favor and zero vote against. All participating committee members, including eight Democratic Party lawmakers and one Justice Party lawmaker, voted in favor of the bill, except for Rep. Woo Won-shik, who was absent from the meeting. Resisting the vote, the People Power Party did not participate in the voting process and stormed out of the meeting room. It took only about an hour from the start of the meeting to the passage of the bill.

After the passage of the amendment bill, the People Power Party members of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee held a press meeting and described the bill as an “evil law” that “gives rise to labor-management conflicts and illegal strikes” as well as “takes away jobs of the next generation.” “We condemn the Democratic Party’s unconstitutional, unilateral passage of the Labor Relations Act,” the People Power Party stated. The ruling party plans to put the amendment bill up for thorough discussion in the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee.

In response, the Democratic Party decided to directly submit the amendment bill to the National Assembly plenary session with the Justice Party in the event that the amendment bill remains pending for more than 60 days at the Legislation and Judiciary Committee. Directly submitting a bill to the plenary session requires the concurrent vote of more than three-fifths of the Standing Committee members on the register. Under the Democratic Party’s scenario to pass the bill by leveraging its numerical superiority, nine Democratic Party members plus one Justice Party member will constitute three-fifths of the concurrent votes out of 16 seats.

It has been reported that President Yoon Suk Yeol is likely to veto the bill should the bill pass in the plenary session. A high-ranking official at the Presidential Office said in a telephone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo that the Presidential Office currently plans to exercise a veto after deliberation in the cabinet meeting.

“The president’s abuse of his veto power would be equivalent to abandoning constitutional value,” said Democratic Party Rep. Kim Young-jin.

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