Statement for Press Conference
Promise without practice feeds distrust. Politics without trust gives birth to resistance. This is what the situation of Korean society looks like now. The state identity of a Democratic Republic is fading with the government dividing its people into two sides and a political party having lost the function of check.
The labor is right in the middle of such conflicts and confrontations of our society. Labor rights which were once promised are abandoned as falling leaves in the street, and self-righteousness and coercion by the power which crushes the spirit of agreement produced at the end of heated-up discussion and strangles the neck of the labor unions are abundant behind a war of propaganda called labor reforms.
Due to this government, only FKTU is being hurt and rational labor movement respecting dialogue is losing its ground.
The tripartite grand compromise which was concluded on September 15 was possible thanks to the FKTU’s resolution from a broad point of view. We agreed to the grand compromise despite cold criticisms in and out of the organization because we agreed to the national cause that pain of 10 million non-regular workers suffering from low-wage and employment insecurity should be mitigated and jobs should be created for 1.16 million jobless youths.
The core elements of the tripartite agreement which FKTU agreed to were that the number of youth jobs shall be increased, the size of non-regular workers shall be decreased, and regular workers shall be used for constant and continued work.
We will carefully check upon and demand responsibility for the government’s argument that large enterprises will create 300 thousand jobs as a result of the tripartite agreement and 180 thousand youth jobs will be created in the wake of introduction of a wage peak system.
Critical issues of easy layoff and disadvantageous change in employment regulations were obstacles for the negotiation till the last minute, but we found a road to an agreement by agreeing that the government will not unilaterally implement them and go through sufficient consultation which can be deemed as a tripartite agreement.
However, the government and the ruling party which evaluated it as a historic social grand compromise themselves are crushing the spirit of the agreement. The ruling party submitted bills to extend the period of use of non-regular workers two times and expand the scope of dispatch work rather than reduce the size of non-regular workers, and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance tries to enforce a performance-based salary system for financial institutions after the wage peak system.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor, a core party in the grand compromise, publicly announced that it would implement guidelines for general layoff and change in employment regulations within this year, even though an agreement is produced yet at the Special Committee on Structural Reforms of Labor Market stablished under the Economic and Social Development Commission (ESDC).
Five labor reform bills submitted by the Saenuri Party do include toxic clauses which are not included in the tripartite agreement. The government intends to violate the promise that it will not unilaterally implement them without sufficient consultation, and this is an outright breach of the agreement.
FKTU cannot hold down anger to witness the situation that the tripartite grand compromise is being destroyed by the government and the ruling party.
FKTU strongly and clearly request our demands to the government and the ruling party.
The regressive amendment bills by the government and the ruling party including the Act on Fixed-term Work impairing the purpose and contents of the Sept. 15 tripartite grand compromise or including items which are not agreed must be discarded right now.
The government and the ruling party must stop the effort to forcefully introduce a performance-based salary system in the public and financial sector immediately.
Policy to enforce government’s guidelines on general layoff and change in employment regulations must be discarded.
If the government and the ruling party stick to the path of self-righteousness neglecting the FKTU’s demands, the tripartite grand compromise will be deemed as destructed, FKTU will wage an intensive struggle against the administration without distrust collecting every bit of organizational potential.
The government and the ruling party must remember the history 19 years ago. In December 1996, the administration which passed a new labor law in a sneaky way at the National Assembly, which was not agreed to by the labor circle, was reshuffled by hands of workers and people.
Thank you very much.