No time for militantsA discussion on policy organized by the Korea Labor Institute was canceled as an umbrella trade union threatened to disrupt it.
In a seminar on state affairs held by the office of the prime minister, the KLI planned to release research on how to resolve issues concerning irregular workers and listen to opinions from experts inside and outside Korea.
But the Federation of Korean Trade Unions somehow got hold of the material beforehand and threatened to block the seminar using physical force if necessary, forcing the cancelation of the seminar.
The research stated that in order to resolve irregular workers’ issues, the limitations on the period to employ them must be abolished. This is exactly the opposite of the labor field’s argument on how irregular workers issues can be resolved.
Thus it is understandable that the FKTU opposes the research results.
But even if we try to accept their argument, it is certain that the FKTU used inappropriate methods to make its point. Unionized workers should have participated in the discussion, presented their arguments and listened to experts’ opinions.
The KLI responded in the wrong matter, too.
It is against common sense that the institute cancelled the seminar organized by the government just because the labor union threatened to halt it.
It is even more shameful if we consider how guests from overseas must think when they heard that the event was abruptly canceled.
The institute says it was afraid that other discussions would be disrupted if union workers stormed into the office, but this explanation is not convincing.
The institute simply buckled under the labor group’s threat.
The office of the prime minister and the KLI should have contacted the police and should have been prepared in case union members burst in, instead of canceling the event.
The country’s economy is walking on thin ice.
When foreign capital is already escaping from the country, news of this type of behavior won’t encourage foreign investors to have a good impression of, or trust in, Korea.
One of the reasons that foreign investors shun Korea is the influence of militant labor unions. Management, labor and the government must think seriously about this.
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