[EDITORIALS]Get back to work

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[EDITORIALS]Get back to work

Just before this year’s labor-management negotiations, the demands made by the unions are appalling. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is demanding that a clause on employers’ “contribution toward unification” be created in the contract and trips for model union members to visit North Korea be supported. Moreover, the unions of four automakers are demanding that each firm set up a fund made up of 5 percent of net profits to aid temporary laborers. When corporations are suffering through the worst slump in domestic consumption in years, unions are interfering with management by saying that corporate profits must be allotted to the unions.
The confederation has proposed several new plans for corporations to participate in unification movements, such as setting aside unification funds, inviting North Korean laborers as part of technological exchanges and supporting model union members’ visits to the North. It looks as if the confederation aspires to become a leader of the unification movement. Then why do they go to work? Why not become civic group activists instead?
Corporations’ social duty is to make good products and create profits and invest those profits in order to increase employment. Unions should be discussing with management ways to improve productivity. Support for temporary workers that the unions of the four automakers demanded is also absurd.
The issue of discrimination between temporary and permanent workers is intricately entwined with maintaining the vested interests of the union. Hence, if the unions were to solve the problem of part-time workers, they would have to give up their vested rights ― some of their wages.
Automakers see declining demand such that taxes had to be reduced. But unions demand a slice of the profits; that is flagrant interference with management.
The unions’ political demands and interference, which are irrelevant to their status, comes from their massive negotiating power. The confederation said they would reject overtime work because they opposed the president’s impeachment. Just work hard in your workplaces! If you want to join a political movement or a unification movement, just become activists instead.
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