Rooting out civil corruption

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Rooting out civil corruption

There are around 100 civil servants nationwide working full time for a labor union and getting a salary, according to the “Civil Servants Group Illegal Activities Solution Performance Report” presented to Assemblyman Shin Ji-ho of the Grand National Party by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security a few days ago. It is clearly illegal because the civil servants’ labor union law does not recognize paid, full-time labor union workers.

This is a serious problem because civil servants should be role models and abide by the law, but instead some are openly violating the law in the name of the labor movement. It not only shakes up the order of public positions, but also has a negative effect on labor and management relations in public companies. The government plans to abolish the paid, full-time labor union employee system of civil companies next year, but there appears to be a lack of justification.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security should reveal all illegal full-time workers, make them return to their original positions and strictly apply the civil servants’ regulation on leave from their place of work. Needless to say, they should take back all the wages paid to these people during their periods of leave, too.

Organization directors are also largely responsible for the illegal actions of labor unions in municipal organizations. Many point out that illegal actions continue because municipal organization directors turn a blind eye to actions that should be controlled. The recent Ministry of Public Administration and Security report shows that only two municipal organizations reported illegal full-time labor union workers. The reason why they are approving these illegal actions is obvious: They are conspiring to a certain extent because directors are afraid of how civil servants will vote at the next election, and are concerned that something bad may be exposed through labor union retaliation.

So it will be difficult to exterminate illegal labor union activities if municipal organization directors are not stricter. The ministry should not stop at administrative guidance but should severely punish administrations of municipal organizations where illegal labor unions operate. This is the only way to cut corruption between labor unions and municipal organization directors.

Now is the time to correct the agreements between civil servant labor unions and organization directors that have problems. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security presented research results on illegal full-time labor union employee operations this time, but the illegal labor union activities of civil workers does not stop there.

Other survey results show that 79.5 percent of central and local civil servant labor union organization agreements are illegal or legal shortcuts. If necessary, the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea should carry out a special investigation and thoroughly pull out any roots of illegal labor union activities or those that use legal shortcuts in the civil servant society.
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