New year's Message from the President of the FKTU
Dear one million members of the FKTU, The New Year of 2016 has dawned.
Korean trade unions suffered from extremely unusual hardships last year. Fifty thousand jobs have disappeared in the financial industry and the restructuring is still underway. Mass layoffs hit entire industries including the shipbuilding, shipping and steel industries. Even workers in their twenties had to leave their workplaces under the name of the so-called 'voluntary retirement', which is de-facto layoffs.
The government has kept showing arrogant and anti-union attitudes. It announced to extend the use term of fixed-term workers and expand temporary agency work under the pretext of creating jobs for youths. The government has pushed ahead with unilateral policies including wage-cuts in the public and financial sectors and regressive change of employment rules, totally ignoring the grand agreement reached among social partners.
The government has flatly disregarded the very sprit of social dialogue. We have shown a great patience in the hope that the government and employers will meet their commitments. We will no longer endure this sort of blatant and absurd breach of the agreement. Now, let us move on and step forward. Let us continue to struggle until the dignity of workers and the right to live are fully defended.
Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU)