Social dialogue towards ratification of ILO Core Conventions 87 (freedom of association) and 98 (collective bargaining) in the Republic of Korea appears to be moving in the direction of actually weakening fundamental labour rights.
The South Korean government has announced today a series of measures in response to the tragic death of 24-year-old power plant worker, killed in an industrial accident resulting from the “outsourcing of danger” and lack of safety measures at Taean Power Plant.
Halfway through a 10-year deal, South Korea’s capital local government decides to put an end to its contract with French private operators RATP Dev and Transdev after negotiations over renewed contract conditions failed. The announcement, on 18 January, came shortly after members of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU), a PSI and ITF affiliate, made public their intention to go on strike.
"As we made clear during the Candlelight Rally for Peace on June 9, a real plan for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula has to include withdrawal of the U.S.’ policies of nuclear pre-emptive strike and extended deterrence against North Korea. [...] In addition, a reduction of conventional weapons by all sides and withdrawal of the U.S. troops station in South Korea are needed to remove the material conditions of war and overcome the roots causes of the nuclear conflict. All of these tasks remain before us", reads the statement issued by the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union.
PSI is calling on all affiliates to join the renewed joint ITUC and GUF international campaign calling for the release of Han Sang-gyun and the withdrawal of the charges against Lee Young-joo, respectively former President and General Secretary of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
Send a letter of protest to President Moon and join the Day of Action on 9 February 2018.
Korean health unions are very satisfied with the new spirit of of tripartite social dialogue in the country, which on 12 July led to the signing of a collective agreement at Green hospital in Seoul to: increase staffing levels; create more jobs by fully implementing nursing/caregiving integrated services; create jobs by shortening working hours and regularize the employment of workers on contract jobs in hospitals.
The impeachment of Park Geun-hye, now former President of South Korea, is not only the culmination of a political scandal involving corruption. It is also a victory built by the trade union movement which, relentless, denounced for years the abuses against workers committed by her regime.