Korean businesses protest against labor law revisions to meet ILO mandates

2019.09.11 13:43:43 | 2019.09.11 13:44:41

Representatives of Korea Confederation of Trade Unions conduct demonstration in central Seoul in June, demanding the government ratify ILO conventions unconditionally.​이미지 확대

Representatives of Korea Confederation of Trade Unions conduct demonstration in central Seoul in June, demanding the government ratify ILO conventions unconditionally.​

Korean employers raised their voices opposing to the government’s planned revision on labor law that further strengthens rights of labor unions in line with ratification of International Labor Organization (ILO)’s conventions.

Five business organizations – Korea Employers Federation, Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Korea Federation of Small and Medium-sized Businesses, Korea International Trade Association and Federation of Middle Market Enterprises of Korea – issued a statement on Tuesday to protest the government’s plan to revise labor law to allow unemployed or laid-off workers to join labor unions, remove ban on offering payments to full-time union officials and ease the time-off limits for union activities.

The government announced on July 31 that it would submit a motion to the National Assembly to revise labor laws to ratify three out of the four key ILO conventions. South Korea joined the ILO in 1991, but it hasn’t ratified four out of eight core conventions including No.87 and No.98 related to freedom of association and No.29 and No.105 regarding forced labor abolition. Ratification of the remaining conventions was one of the President Moon Jae-in’s campaign pledges.

Employers have been strongly against the planned revision, arguing that the government should strengthen employers’ rights to defend their production activities in line with enhancement of labor rights. They also said the government should strictly clamp down on illegal and unfair labor practices that seriously hurt business operations.

The revision plan ignores the nation’s realistic conditions where the labor-management relations are typically marked by serious conflicts, the entrepreneurs said. They also argued that allowing dismissed workers to join labor unions would give too much power to workers.

Korea Employers Federation said that withdrawing the ban on paying salaries to full-time union officials means employers would be forced to pay the cost of anti-business activities.​

By Han Ye-kyung and Choi Mira

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]