Rep. Lee Hae-chan, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party, mentioned the importance of the party’s partnership with the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) in his new year press conference on January 13 at the National Assembly. Amid attention being paid by the government and ruling party to the social dialogue, it seems that he will be duly appreciating FKTU which has been participating in the Economic, Social and Labor Council(ESLC).
The ruling party’s leader praised the labor circle that “FKTU has long been a strong partner to the Democratic Party and it also has been playing a leading role in the social dialogue for building a society in which labor is respected, and the Korean Finance & Service Workers’ Union, an affiliate to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU), takes the lead in building a society in which all people live together and prosper together through the establishment of a social solidarity foundation called Ubuntu Foundation.” When KCTU decides to participate in the ESLC which was launched last year, ESLC will make an (effective) dialogue body for the resolution of difficult social conflicts facing us,“ he added.
What the ruling party’s leader Lee mentioned about the partnership with FKTU is drawing people’s attention. The Democratic Party signed a policy solidarity pact with FKTU during the presidential election in May 2017 and FKTU also has been participating in the ESLC since the ESLC’s launch in November last year. However, few of the government and the ruling party publicly mentioned about their relationship with FKTU.
What was worse, it has been criticized that the government did not consult with FKTU before it pushed for the expansion of the minimum wage calculation components, the expansion of the unit period of the flexible working hour system and the revision of the minimum wage fixing machinery. The government and ruling Democratic Party put a lot of efforts into persuading the participation of KCTU in the ESLC, but due respect was not paid to FKTU for the cooperation and support that it rendered to the government and ruling party. In this regard, discontents within FKTU are reportedly being built up.
Lee, Soo-jin, a supreme council member of the ruling Democratic Party, said that “while the ruling party earnestly wished the participation of KCTU in the ESLC, but it did not have an opportunity to appreciate the FKTU which has been active in the social dialogue body.” She explained that “in the new year press conference, the ruling party chief Lee expressed his gratitude to FKTU and his commitment to dialogue with the labor circle.”
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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