|▲ A delegation of the European Commission meets with the labor union officers of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) to discuss the matters regarding the ratification of fundamental ILO conventions by Korea in a conference house in central Seoul on January 22. [Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today]|
The European Commission, an executive institution of the European Union(EU), set the Korean government a deadline to “come up with the outcome of the ratification of the fundamental ILO conventions as late as April this year.” It is estimated that the Korean government would face difficulties in meeting the deadline set by the European Commission, because the Economic, Social and Labor Council(ESLC) is currently taking an approach to reach an agreement on package of the right to organize, the right to bargain collectively and the right to act collectively.
The Labor Relations Institutional and Practice Improvement Committee of the ESLC is currently under discussion for the revision of the national laws which are not in compliance with the international standards in preparation for the ratification of fundamental ILO conventions. The committee does not limit its discussion to the right to organize, but it extended the discussion to the matters of collective bargaining and industrial action. The business circle argues for the inclusion of a full permission for worker replacement on strike, the ban on the workplace occupation by the striking workers, the extension of the validity period of the collective agreements to four years, and the abolition of the unfair labor practice clause.
The delegation of the European Commission pays its attention to the slow progress of the discussion in the ESLC and the passage uncertainty of the revised laws by the National Assembly, by imposing the Korean government a deadline. The EU delegation made a visit to Korea for the government-to-government consultations as a procedure to solve the disputes in the ‘trade and sustainable development chapter’ in the Korea-EU FTA. Besides the meeting with the officials of the national trade union centers, the delegation also met with the officials of the Korea Employers’ Federation(KEF) and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry(KCCI), and the public interest members of the ESLC to hear their views and opinions regarding the ratification of fundamental ILO conventions.
reported by Bae Hye-jung
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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