- Ms. André Director of ACTRAV-ILO quoted to have pledged to provide support if the ILO’s role is required
|▲ provided by FKTU|
FKTU President Kim Joo-young said that severe impact can be dealt to the global IT industry using semiconductors in the wake of the Korea-Japan trade dispute. He asked that the ILO, a tripartite body, make an effort with an interest in the issue to find out a solution as it arose from the forced labor conscription by Japan and is likely to develop as an international issue. Ms. Maria Helena André Director of ACTRAV-ILO pledged to ‘provide support if there is an area where the ILO’s role is required, after looking into the specific situation.’
She said so while visiting the Headquarters of the FKTU in Yeoido, Seoul in the afternoon of July 22, 2019, accompanied by Ariel B. Castro Senior Advisor of ACTRAV-ILO. They visited Seoul on the occasion of attending the international workshop themed as ‘Trade Union Training on Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining’, which was co-organized by the Korea Labor Foundation and the International Training Centre of the ILO.
While at the Headquarters, she showed a keen interest in the Korea-Japan trade dispute that President Kim referred to. He said that ‘it is a trade retaliation triggered by the Supreme Court's ruling of Korea on the forced labor conscription during the Japanese colonial rule, though the Government of Japan denies the allegation.’ He expressed his concern that ‘it would deal a serious impact on workers of both Korea and Japan.’ He asked for an interest and support of the ILO, emphasizing that ‘it is not merely a bilateral matter between Korea and Japan and the global IT industry using semiconductors could be hit hard.’ She replied, “It is a pretty much new issue and the ILO will keep an eye on it.” In addition, she said that she would consider whether the ILO can take actions after looking into the specific situation.
At the meeting, opinions were exchanged on the matters of agenda-setting for social dialogue and the role of the trade union. In response to the explanation by President Kim that the Economic, Social and Labor Council(ESLC) has been set up but social dialogue is under the risk of being interrupted as the plenary committee meeting has failed to convene one after the other, she said, “It amounts to a challenge to continue social dialogue in a meaningful manner in Korea and it is very important to build up trust at the negotiation table as the history of social dialogue in Korea is at the beginning stage and not as long as that of Western Europe.”
She also added, “Only after starting from less-sensitive issues like education and training or a social safety net, we can handle difficult issues like working hours and it takes a lot of patience and time to do so.”
She also made a comment alluding to the fact that the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) is absent from the ESLC. She said, “The KCTU is not participating in social dialogue, but there is room for the government and employers to capitalize on it.” There is no need for the two national-level labor confederations to hold consultation in relation to social dialogue but they all should be present on the negotiation table.”
reported by Kim mi-young
translated by labortoday