New Year's Message from the FKTU President!
Dear Brothers and Sisters all over the World!
As the Year of the Snake has just drawn, I would firstly like to wish you and your family all the happiness in the year 2013. We always start off the New Year with new hope and renewed commitments to making today better than yesterday.
The hope of workers is very simple and as straightforward as enjoying a decent evening with family members sitting and smiling around a dinner table. Economic outlook for the year 2013, however, indicates another tougher year for workers to achieve even such a humble wish. The global economy continues to be uncertain and dim, especially in areas of Europe, US and China. Moreover, countries heavily dependent on exports, such as Korea, are expected to experience a much more difficult year due to their direct exposure to external economic conditions.
It is always workers who have suffered the most whenever economic downturn occurs and this has only further deteriorated through job insecurity, discrimination against precarious workers and the lack of decent employment opportunities for young people.
Against this backdrop, the FKTU will mobilize all its resources this year again in order to protect workers' rights and improve working conditions. This is vital , as a stable and safe working environment with workers being fully respected creates the foundation for a happy society and consequently successful national integration and social cohesion. It is also impossible to achieve an economic democracy without labour. All forms of discrimination against precarious workers, long working hours and the youth employment are imminent challenges that we must tackle together. It must be noted that the secure employment is an essential prerequisite for a happy family life, a rewarding workplace and a society with hope.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Hope is not something to be granted to us but, rather, made by us. In order for all workers in Korea to remain hopeful and pursue their happiness, the FKTU with strong workers' solidarity will do its utmost to build an equal, welfare and united society where workers' rights are fully guaranteed. Above all, the FKTU will continue its all-out struggles and also sincere dialogues with social partners in order to revise 'Trade Union and Labour Relations Adjustment Act' for protection of the fundamental workers' rights enshrined in the National Constitution. Furthermore we will carry out policies to protect interests of 1.8 million workers in Korea and alleviate the social polarization through the reform of the national minimum wage scheme, the unionization of more precarious workers, the elimination of discriminations, the implementation of the mandatory retirement age at 60, etc.
Again I wish you all the best and prosperous New Year! Thank you.
1 January 2013
President of the FKTU