[EDITORIALS]Doosan raises questionsThe dispute at Doosan Heavy Industries, which was inflamed by the suicide of a union member two months ago, has ended. We feel fortunate that the Doosan controversy will not play a major role in this spring’s labor-management confrontation. We wonder whether either side gained from the dispute. Considering the damage, we agree with Doosan Group’s chairman, Park Yong-sung: “There is no winner; both sides are losers.”
The way it was settled left questions to be answered. Is it necessary for the government, especially the labor minister, to intervene in individual labor disputes? What problems will follow the violation of “No Work, No Pay”? Is it right to give concessions to the union regarding reparations and provisional attachments to members’ property?
The labor minister’s intervention in individual labor disputes is not appropriate. If the labor minister jumps into each and every dispute, the government’s effort to solve labor problems will be jeopardized. The government claims it mediated the dispute, but the result was one-sided concessions.
Doosan agreed to repay 50 percent of the wages held back under “No Work, No Pay” and canceled the attachments on the property of workers who damaged company property. The “No Work, No Pay” guideline has been repeatedly contested. Now that it has suffered another setback, it is likely that labor will push tougher demands during spring collective bargaining. As to the issue of temporary injunctions, it is not right to issue them on a selective basis ― we need a new criterion.
As is seen in the Doosan dispute, labor has a tendency to rely on government, and the current government is pro-labor. Labor should realize that an inflexible labor market is the major obstacle to foreign investment here. Government should see its role as providing stable labor-management relations, not intervening in individual disputes.
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