|▲ Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-seob(second from right) speaks before a quadripartite council comprising representatives from labor unions, employers, citizens in the region and the local government on December 5. [provided by the Gwangju Metropolitan Government]|
The Gwangju-model job creation project with the aim of creating socially inclusive jobs and respecting the labor faces rough going. The Gwangju metropolitan government and Hyundai Motor reached an investment agreement(provisional) for the establishment of a joint-venture which prompted strong protest from the labor circle as the agreement included a clause that would grossly infringe the basic labor rights.
The provisional agreement included a controversial clause which reads that "workplace win-win councils will be operated on the basis of the principles and functions of labor-management councils regulated by the Act on the Promotion of Worker Participation and Cooperation, and the valid term of the agreements made by the win-win council of the newly established joint-venture will be effective until the cumulative production of 350,000 vehicle units were accomplished for the purpose of earlier financial stability and secured sustainability."
Suppose that the Gwangju city government and Hyundai Motor produce 70,000 vehicle units per year, it is interpreted that the clause suspends negotiations for wages and collective agreement for 5 years. It infringes the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act which grants labor unions the right to bargain collectively and regulates the valid term of collective agreement up to 2 years. It also violates the Act on the Promotion of Worker Participation and Cooperation that regulates the labor-management council to hold meetings once every three months. It can be also interpreted that the clause does not recognize labor unions.
Following disputes in the morning meeting, the labor-employer-citizen-city government council finally managed to draw up another revised proposal by reflecting the concerns of the labor circle in respect to the controversial clause, but it was turned down by Hyundai Motor, citing "repeated revisions and setback".
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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