"The Need for Social Dialogue Regarding the Realization of a Labor-Respecting Society"
FKTU Proposed an Eight-Party Meeting Involving President Moon
New Three-Step Process for Social Dialogue Announced
The Federation of Korea Trade Unions (FKTU) proposed an eight-party meeting—requesting the participation of South Korean President Moon Jae-in—regarding a grand transformation of Korean society.
On September 26th, FKTU president Kim Ju-young presented a "three-step process for a new social dialogue."
The first step of the process is aimed at restoring authority of and confidence in social dialogue. This stage is focused on the establishment of a social dialogue system consisting of eight parties including President Moon, the FKTU, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the Korea Employer's Federation (KEF), the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL), the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF), and the Economic and Social Development Commission (ESDC).
President Kim explained that "the first step of the process should start with the building of trust among labor, management, and the government." He went on to say "I hope President Moon would personally open the door for social dialogue and announced that "a fundamental change in Korean society should begin with social dialogue."" He also stressed that an "announcement by the president would be a message of the great hope that Korea will march toward a people-centered society in which labor is respected."
The second step calls for agreements on issues which can be easily consented by both labor and management, thereby expanding tripartite trust.
The head of the national center said, "A new social dialogue should focus on agreement and the implementation of a less contentious agenda on which labor and management are likely to agree." "This is an essential process in achieving a soft landing and ensuring sustainability of such dialogue." he added.
The third step involves the issuing of a "joint tripartite declaration for a grand transition of Korean society" in April 2019.
President Kim argued that a doorway to a labor-respecting society and income-driven growth needs to be opened through a tripartite declaration, the so-called "April Declaration." He elaborated this point saying, "to this end, the April Declaration must be a message heralding a discussion that goes beyond labor to also include issues such as healthcare, later life, childcare, education, housing, taxation, and the social safety net, all of which affect the lives not only of workers, but of people in general."
He urged the active cooperation and participation of labor, management, and the government, arguing "The eight parties—including President Moon—should take to heart the fact that Korea cannot afford to fail."
FKTU president Kim drew the line regarding his organization's return to the ESCD negotiation table, lamenting "The existing faulty tripartite dialogue needs to be avoided."