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2018.01.09 10:07

2018 New Year's Message

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Fellow trade unionists!

 

Last year, we had been at the center of unprecedented historical changes that we never experienced before. The Federation of Korea Trade Unions(FKTU) held candlelight vigils along with Korean people in order to make the country a better place to live for everyone, and greatly contributed to the establishment of the incumbent government based on the vote by all unionists to support then presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, which was taken according to the decision of the congress, FKTU's top deliberative body.

 

The FKTU also has led the highest minimum wage increase ever, and finally achieved abolition of the two guidelines strangling Korean workers, as well as the guideline on the performance based annual salary system in the public sector. We also started work toward conversion of irregular workers to regular ones in the public sector.

 

Last year was the time when we established the basis for a labor-respecting society, while this year, we are requested to make greater endeavor and take a more active role to produce the fruitful result of realization of the labor-respecting society based on last year's accomplishment. First and foremost, the FKTU will strive to make safe workplaces without industrial accidents in 2018. We will push forward with revision of the Labor Standards Act, which stipulates the business excepted from statutory working hours and recesses, in order to prevent transport workers' traffic accidents caused by longtime overwork.

 

In addition, we will do our best to remove the stigma of the longest working nation and prevent workers' injuries and deaths due to long working hours by ensuring proper reward for holiday and extended work and reducing the working hours to 52 hours a week.

 

We will also put spurs to conversion of irregular workers to regular ones and elimination of discrimination. Last year, the FKTU newly established the project unit for organization of unorganized irregular workers and achieved the desired outcome. However by using the last year's project as a stepping stone, we will make 2018 the first year when the number of our member unionists reaches 2 million by organizing more unorganized workers. Meanwhile we will urge the government and the National Assembly to ratify the ILO core conventions and accordingly revise the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act(TULRAA) to guarantee basic labor rights.

 

Our efforts do not stop there. We should promote stabilized livelihood of low-income workers and resolve social polarization through normalization of ordinary wages with appropriate reflection of the labor value and early realization of 10,000 won minimum wage.

 

The fourth industrial revolution is another threat against workers. The revolution should not be approached only in the industrial and technical aspects. The FKTU will make our utmost efforts to lead the era of the fourth industrial revolution and establish a society in which employment is guaranteed and its fruitions are distributed among all members of the society.

 

Many issues in our society are the ones that need to be solved through "social dialogue". The FKTU will lay the foundations of the labor-respecting society and solve entangled labor issues by successfully pushing ahead with the proper social dialogue that we suggested.

 

In order to tackle these labor issues, one million members of the FKTU should be united. We ask you to provide constant support and solidarity for resolution of the issues and realization of the labor-respecting society.

 

 

January 2018

Kim Joo-young

President

Federation of Korean Trade Unions

 

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