OECD: Korea does not need monitoring

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OECD: Korea does not need monitoring

The head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has rejected a request by one of its committees to renew monitoring of Korea’s labor laws and labor-management reforms.

According to the Ministry of Labor yesterday, in a letter sent to the ministry and to the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria reaffirmed that Korea has advanced its labor policies and systems and does not require further monitoring.

In 2007, the OECD ended its watch over Korea’s labor issues, which it had monitored since Korea joined the world’s richest countries club in 1996. But in early May, the trade union committee asked Gurria to renew its oversight, saying that Korea’s labor laws fall short of global standards and its labor situation is worsening.

The ministry said the committee asked the OECD to review the matter at its Employment, Labor, Social Affairs Committee meeting in Paris on May 17-18, and at another committee meeting slated for the second half of the year. But in a reply to the committee sent in late May and disclosed by the ministry in a summary, Gurria said Korea no longer needs monitoring, and has completed its obligation to provide the OECD with information about its labor issues.

“It shows a global recognition of the improvement in labor issues in Korea,” said Yoo Gyeong-joon, a labor economist at the Korea Development Institute.

But he added that to meet global standards, Korea must address issues including the existence of multiple labor unions and the wages of full-time union members.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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