Gov't Embraces Int'l Labor Rights

  • By Gwak Rae-geon

    June 24, 2020 12:42

    The government on Tuesday approved a couple of revisions to labor laws including allowing unemployed workers to join trade unions.

    The revision comes at the urging of the International Labor Organization, which found fault with certain shortcomings in employee protection in Korea last year. It will now be presented to the National Assembly for ratification. The rest are revised bills overseeing civil servants' and teachers' unions.

    Korea joined the ILO in 1991 but has yet to ratify four key conventions, including freedom of association, abolition of forced labor, prohibition of child labor and elimination of discrimination in employment. The government attempted to have three of them passed by the previous National Assembly session, but they got stuck in the wheels and automatically expired with the general election this April.

    Businesses affected were shocked by the revisions, which include regulations they had been opposing. One business-lobby source said, "We are desperate for measures to help us overcome the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, but the government is pursuing laws that give labor unions more ammunition."

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