|▲ Signs read "Decentralization of power; Realization of labor with respect and value". (provided by Rep. Lee Yong-deuk of the ruling Democratic Party)|
The sweeping victory of the recent local elections in Korea is attracting a growing attention on the labor policies that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has pursued would affect other local governments in the formulation and implementation of labor policies. In the June 13 local elections, the ruling Democratic Party won 14 of 17 metropolitan mayor and provincial governor posts including Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. Experts expect that this election outcome would provide Korea with another momentum to realize "a society where labor is respected".
Incumbent Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was re-elected for his third term of four years. It has been widely known that Seoul Mayor Park has developed and implemented various labor-friendly policies such as living wage raise, conversion of irregular jobs into permanent positions, workers' representation to the board of directors in the public institutions, center for labor rights, and youth allowance for young job seekers, among others.
Seongnam City Mayor Lee Jae-myung who also came up with labor friendly policies won the election race for the governor of Gyeonggi Province which has the largest population of 13 million people(almost 25% of the population in Korea), followed by Seoul with a population of 10 million people. These two like-minded chiefs of local governments may affect other elected mayors and governors of the ruling Democratic Party to benchmark the labor policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to "build a society where labor is respected" which the Moon Jae-in administration has pledged to realize.
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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