KHMU Info <No. 10> November 14, 2019
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions organizes the National Workers’ Rally on November 9, 2019
On November 9, the KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) hosted the National Workers’ Rally, which was joined by around 100,000 union members. On the rally, the national level democratic union censured the National Assembly for the attempt to pass the draft act on extended period of flexible working system while urging the political community to immediately stop trying to adopt retrogressive revision of labor law.
At the 69th Congress, the KCTU committed that it would never tolerate the National Assembly’s attempt to enforce the retrogressive revision of labor law. And in the following resolution rally, it warned of possible general strike to the Environment and Labor Committee at the National Assembly in case that the revision is realized, which would permit discriminatory qualifications of labor union members, extension of effective period of collective bargaining, prohibition on industrial actions at workplace, etc. In addition, on 31st, at the rally in front of the National Assembly in Yeoui-do, Seoul, it made commitment, “we would gather forces of all union members to go into all-out general strike in case that the National Assembly enforces the retrogressive revision of labor law.”
The revision draft, which has been discussed in the 20th National Assembly, has no single items that serve workers. Instead, the discussions are even about Alternative Work Schedule, extension of period of Discretionary Work, easing of criteria for application of special overtime, differential application of minimum wage, abolition of weekly leave pay, etc.
Meanwhile, the revision draft was passed at the cabinet meeting on Oct. 1. The draft that was designed in a way to make working hours flexible, includes 1. Expand flexible working system 2. Limit access to workplaces by fired workers and staff of industry-level union 3. Prohibit occupancy of workplaces during industrial actions 4. Extend the effective period of collective bargaining to 3 years. About this, the labor community evaluated it as “Union-Busting Act” in exchange for the ratification of ILO Core Conventions.
The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) has launched an active struggle against the three possible revisions in particular: extension of effective period of collective bargaining by three years, limited access to workplaces by fired workers and staff of industry-level union, prohibition on the occupancy of workplaces during industrial actions, as the revisions will seriously affecting union activities.