|▲ Workers’ members to the Minimum Wage Commission hold a press briefing, denouncing the government draft for the revision of the minimum wage fixing machinery on January 9 at the headquarters of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) in Yeouido, Seoul. [Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today]|
Amidst an experts’ debate slated for on January 10 as part of the implementation procedures to collect public opinions necessary for the government to finalize a revision draft of the minimum wage fixing machinery, the labor circle demanded the government to “stop a unilateral retrogressive revision of the system.” Workers’ members including those representing the two national trade union centers declared that they would not participate in the public opinion collection procedures organized by the government, and instead called on the government to come up with a comprehensive draft for the improvement of the minimum wage system through the social dialogue mechanism. They also adopted a resolution to stage a strong struggle against the unilateral retrogressive revision of the system.
Workers’ members to the Minimum Wage Commission held a press briefing on January 9 at the headquarters of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) in Yeouido, Seoul and denounced that “the two-tier decision-making process in the minimum wage fixing machinery pursued by the government is a retrogressive revision draft which will make the Minimum Wage Act for the worse.” “When the (Minimum Wage Rate) Range Setting Committee decides an upper limit and lower limit of the (minimum wage) hike rate without the participation of the stakeholders, it will strengthen the role of the experts and the public interest members but workers’ and employers’ members will simply turn into a rubber stamp,” they added. They also demanded to convene a plenary meeting of the Minimum Wage Commission to discuss the institutional improvement.
In the meanwhile, Kim Myung-hwan, the head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU), reconfirmed his commitment to participate in the Economic, Social and Labor Council(ESLC), a tripartite national social dialogue body, in a new year press conference held on January 9 at the KCTU’s main office in Jung-gu district, Seoul. He said that “KCTU should intervene in crucial issues in contention through the participation in the ESLC.”
Deploring that “to our dismay, the government announced a unilateral draft for the revision of the minimum wage fixing machinery which has been sustained for some 30 years, without a single communication with the labor circle, KCTU chief Kim warned that ”if the government and the ruling party continue to push for the expansion of the unit period of the flexible working hour system and the retrogressive revision of the minimum wage fixing machinery, we will resist it with general strikes.“
reported by Lee Eun-young & Yang Ou-ram
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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