The movement headquarters for the revision of Articles 2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act is carrying out a performance in front of the main gate of the National Assembly on the 9th to call for the enactment of the Yellow Envelope Act. Reporter Kim Hae-jeong
[왜냐면] Byung-Hoon LeeㅣProfessor Emeritus at Chung-Ang University (Sociology)
After many twists and turns, the Yellow Envelope Act was passed at the plenary session of the National Assembly. While the government, the ruling party, and the business community are fiercely criticizing the bill as ‘enforcement of a nationally ruinous evil law’ and demanding that the president exercise his veto, the opposition parties and labor and social groups are calling for immediate promulgation and enforcement as it is legislation that has taken over 30 years. The fate of the yellow envelope law depends on whether President Yoon Seok-yeol exercises his veto. The Yellow Envelope Act originated from the ‘Yellow Envelope Campaign’, which was carried out as a voluntary solidarity activity by many citizens to help the Ssangyong Motors labor union, which was claimed 4.7 billion won in damages in 2014. The purpose of the Yellow Envelope Movement was to prevent the destruction of unions and the ruin of workers’ lives due to huge amounts of damages and provisional seizures due to industrial action by labor unions being considered illegal. According to Sonjajago, a civic group that has led the actual yellow envelope movement, a whopping 316 billion won was claimed in 197 damages and provisional seizure cases between 1990 and 2023, and 94.9% of these cases targeted individual workers, damaging their lives and families. It can be confirmed that it was seriously destroyed. As many companies attempted to neutralize labor unions using damages and provisional seizures as weapons, dozens of ‘labor martyrs’ were born, including the martyr Bae Dal-ho in 2003. Another legislative purpose of the Yellow Envelope Act is to guarantee basic labor rights to non-regular workers and dependent business owners who are rapidly increasing in number due to companies’ externalization of employment relationships and commercialization of digital platforms. Indirectly employed non-regular workers who work in various ways such as dispatch, contracting, service, and subcontracting, and workers bound by dependent business contracts such as special employment, freelance, and platform brokerage, form a labor union to become the ‘real boss’ who effectively controls their working conditions. ‘We have been requesting to guarantee negotiations with large corporations, franchise franchisors, platform operators, brokerage agencies, and parent companies. We often hear news that unstable workers have gone on illegal strikes to improve their rights and interests as most of the subcontracting companies have refused to negotiate on the grounds that they are not users of the current labor relations law. Last year, the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering subcontractor union had no choice but to go on strike in order to negotiate with the main contractor, but as a result, they were mired in a huge lawsuit for damages that their union dues or wages could not cover. The Yellow Envelope Act, which aims to improve the blind spots of the current labor union law, is fully supported by social consensus on its necessity through Supreme Court precedent, ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions (Nos. 87 and 98), and recommendations from the National Human Rights Commission. there is. However, the business community and conservative media argue that if the Yellow Envelope Act is implemented, it will lead to a surge in union strikes, destabilization of labor-management relations, and a collapse of the rule of law, which will lead to a decline in corporate investment and a decrease in jobs, ultimately ruining the country’s economy. The current union law system, which limits labor disputes and tolerates excessive claims for damages in illegal strikes, not only undermines basic labor rights, but also encourages extreme struggles and illegal industrial action by unstable workers who are pushed into the blind spot of system protection, thereby disrupting the rule of law in industrial sites. Isn’t this making it more difficult to establish and preventing people from breaking away from conflictual labor-management practices? In addition, due to the Yellow Envelope Act, major contracting and platform companies have been able to deprive themselves of some of the profits they have earned from the abuse of ‘cracked workplaces’ (a phenomenon in which workplaces are fragmented and workers are treated poorly as companies hand over work to subcontractors to reduce costs). Although there will be a cost burden that must be shared, in the long run, it is expected that it will provide social benefits by establishing a win-win industrial ecosystem and alleviating the dual structure of the labor market by eliminating blind spots outside the law in labor-management relations. It is good to see that the president’s topic these days has changed to people’s livelihood. The President’s sincerity in emphasizing the people’s livelihood will be recognized when he takes care of the rights and safety of the labor underprivileged, such as indirectly employed irregular workers and dependent business owners, rather than representing the interests of large corporations such as primary contractors, franchises, and platform companies. Therefore, I earnestly appeal to President Yoon Seok-yeol. If you want to take responsibility for the livelihood of working people, don’t veto the yellow envelope law, but implement it immediately as a labor reform that really needs to be done!