In protest against the compromise between three parties, more than 5,000 KCTU members held a rally at Chunggyechun Square, central Seoul, Saturday
Source: The Korean Times
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the nation's second largest umbrella union, said that it will stage a general strike Wednesday to protest the tripartite agreement on labor reform.
"The KCTU will protest against the agreement to protect the nation's 20 million workers' rights," said the KCTU which has some 680,000 members.
"Based on collusion through the tripartite talks, the ruling Saenuri Party and the government is pushing ahead with the bill only to worsen the current law by allowing easier layoffs, the lowering of wages and more non-regular workers."
On Sep. 13, representative of labor, management and government reached an agreement on key issues to reform the labor market.
The agreement was made after the representative of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), another umbrella union which participated in the tripartite talks, decided to accept many government-initiated guidelines such as easing regulations to allow companies to fire underperforming workers and to unilaterally change the rules of employment.
The KCTU said that the agreement also came amid pressure from the government which sought to pursue its own reform bill unless the Tripartite Commission came up with a compromise before the legislation was processed last week.
The KCTU denounced the agreement as "collusion."
In protest against the compromise between three parties, more than 5,000 KCTU members held a rally at Chunggyechun Square, central Seoul, Saturday.
Ewha Womans University student council president Sohn Sul expressed support for the KCTU's position, saying during the rally that "the compromise for labor market reform will not benefit students either."
The Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union also joined the protest, saying that the government wants teachers to conform to the labor reform, which will lead to the failure of education. The Korean Government Employees' Union vowed to protest against the labor reform.
Labor market reform was a priority of the Park Geun-hye administration amid the protracted economic slowdown, and the agreement was expected to increase labor flexibility in Korea where job creation plunged to the lowest level in six years in August.
The nation's two umbrella labor groups ― the militant KCTU and relatively dovish FKTU ― have been divided over the labor reform due to the government guidelines on layoffs of incompetent workers.