Trilateral parties reach agreement on labor reform

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Trilateral parties reach agreement on labor reform



Unions reached an agreement on the government-led plan for labor reform, accepting the two sensitives issues of a revision on salary system and employment.

“Negotiators from unions, employers and government have made a tentative agreement and wrapped up discussions on structural reform for labor market,” said Kim Dae-hwan, chairman of the Economic and Social Development Commission, a Blue House body in charge of arbitration, after the talks ended at night on Sunday.

The agreement included the most contentious issues - adopting so-called “peak wage system” that gradually cuts salaries for senior workers years before retirement, and revising the employment law to make it easier for employers to freely lay off underperforming workers.
Through a cut in wages for senior workers, the management pledged to raise jobs for young jobless people.

Improving job security for part-timers was also included, and they agreed to take legal procedures to submit a bill at the upcoming plenary session on the issue.

Laying off underperforming workers will never be pushed unilaterally by the government, the agreement says, and implemented through discussions with unions and employers both.

“We decided to deal with the issues and take legal steps with long-term perspective,” Kim said.

The negotiations started last September as part of President Park Geun-hye’s ambitious plans for the nation’s four sectors --- labor, education, finance and public administration. Due to protests from unions, talks were halted for months.


BY KIM HEE-JIN, KIM KI-CHAN [kim.heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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