It has been reported that Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Jeong-sik will decide this week whether to recommend President Yoon Seok-yeol to exercise his right to veto (request for reconsideration) the ‘Yellow Envelope Act (Amendment to Articles 2 and 2 of the Trade Union Act).
Tensions are rising again amid expectations of long-awaited improvement in labor-government relations, such as the Federation of Korean Trade Unions’ return to dialogue channels with the government after five months of suspension of social dialogue.
According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor on the 21st, Minister Lee was reported to have recently said, “I will decide this week whether to request President Yoon Seok-yeol to exercise his veto on the Yellow Envelope Act.”
Minister Lee is said to have expressed this intention by saying, “Our entire society must put our heads together to consider whether we can change Articles 2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act to achieve what (the labor community) claims.”
With the possibility of deliberation and resolution on the right to request reconsideration at the Cabinet meeting to be held on the 28th of this month, there is a growing possibility that the labor-government relationship will enter a tense phase again, depending on whether the Minister of Employment and Labor, who is the head of employment and labor policy, proposes a veto.
In particular, after the return of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions to social dialogue, a meeting between the four representatives of labor, management, and government, including Kim Moon-soo, Chairman of the Economic, Social and Labor Committee, is being held this month, and a negative impact on whether or not the meeting will take place cannot be ruled out. Last June, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions declared a ‘complete suspension’ of social dialogue due to the government’s strong suppression of rallies, but on the 13th, it announced its return after five months.
Although we have begun to resume dialogue with the government and the business community, the old resentment has not disappeared. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions stated that it would participate in the dialogue, but that its struggle to curb the government’s labor reforms would continue.
At the 102nd Central Executive Committee meeting of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions held on the 17th, Chairman Kim Dong-myeong said, “Just because the Federation of Korean Trade Unions is returning to social dialogue does not mean that the struggle stance and principles it has advocated will change,” adding, “Regarding the amendment to Articles 2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act, “We will continue to fight to prevent the presidential veto from being exercised,” he said.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions’ position is so firm that it directly mentions blocking the president’s veto of the yellow envelope law.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions also sent a proposal to the President’s Office and the Ministry of Employment and Labor urging the prompt promulgation and implementation of the revised Articles 2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act.
An official from the Federation of Korean Trade Unions said, “As we have declared a return to dialogue, we will clearly convey our labor community’s position at the table,” adding, “It is difficult to reveal the immediate response method assuming the possibility of (exercising the right to veto). We will watch the government’s responsible actions.” “He said.
Previously, on the 9th, the so-called ‘Yellow Envelope Act’ (Amendment to Articles 2 and 3 of the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act), which seeks to limit management’s reckless claims for damages against striking workers, passed the plenary session of the National Assembly led by the opposition party, led by the Democratic Party of Korea. did.
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