Last year is assessed as a year that the labor relations had set back significantly due to the deteriorated relationship between the government and labor and deadlock in the industrial-level collective bargaining. Organized labor movement in financial and public sectors staged a series of walkouts to resist the introduction of the performance-based wage system, and conflicts over the restructuring in the shipbuilding industry had deepened.
As an earlier-than-scheduled presidential election is predicted to take place this year, the possibility of labor's political agenda is highly likely to loom. The continuous sluggish economic outlook and industrial restructuring will be key factors to destabilize the labor relations. Amid the much-desired social dialogue to address the employment crisis, the failed experience of the social compact on labor market reforms by the Park Geun-hye government will be hindrance to reopen the space for the social dialogue in place.
Labor's political agenda before and during the presidential election campaigns this year is anticipated to focus on the issues to tackle the problems of contingent workers' discrimination and employment, reset of wage system, indirect forms of employment including outsourced workers, labor market inequality, minimum wage, and collective bargaining and coverage expansion of trans-enterprise level collective agreements
The Korea Labor Institute(KLI) on January 15 released the assessment of labor relations in 2016 and the prospect for the 2017 labor relations in its January edition of the "Monthly Labor Review".
reported by Kim Bong-seok
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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