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Sender: o-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 97 09:34:28 CST
From: rich%pencil@uga.cc.uga.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Korea And the OECD
Article: 4495

/** labr.global: 479.0 **/
** Topic: Korea And the OECD **
** Written 8:26 AM Jan 24, 1997 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <labornews@igc.apc.org>

From: ICFTU@GEO2.poptel.org.uk
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 20:04:54 GMT
Subject: Korea and the OECD
To: ICFTU-EMAIL-ML@GEO2.poptel.org.uk, ICFTU-FAX-ML@GEO2.poptel.org.uk, ICFTU-PRESS-ML@GEO2.poptel.org.uk

Increased labour pressure on Korea in OECD countries

ICFTU Online..., 21 January 1997

Paris, January 21 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): Trade union pressure is increasing in the 29 countries member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as the Executive Council of Club of rich nations is to meet here on Thursday and take a public stand on Korea’s new labour legislation. Korea has pledged upon acceeding to OECD membership in December 1996 to reform labour laws and put them into conformity with international labour standards, including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

But, meeting on Tuesday in Paris, the influential Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) said the new Korean laws, adopted during a secret parliamentary session on December 26 are a step backwards and fall short of the commitment made by Seoul upon joining the organisation. The Tuesday meeting was attended by a joint delegation representing the two Korean trade unions (FKTU and KTUC) who vowed to continue strike action against the new legislation until it was effectively abrogated. Senior TUAC leaders said that the new legislation are a slap in the face of governments from OECD countries and put the credibility of the organisation into question. The TUAC, which represents trade unions in all the 29 OECD countries, called on the OECD to conclude that the new legislation does not in any significant way meet international standards and said that the OECD should condemn Korea for justifying changes in the name of its commitment given to the OECD. There were no OECD guidelines suggesting that Korea should embark on labour flexibility, but there were clear indications that the OECD wanted Korea to conform to standards of the UN’s International Labour Organisation said Yoon Young-mo, a KCTU official speaking on behalf of the two Korean trade union groups.

The TUAC’s view, which included a call to the OECD to press Korea to withdraw the controversial legislation, was presented today at a consultation with the OECD’s Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee (ELSAC). The TUAC expect that the Wednesday meeting of the ELSAC will lead to firm recommendations to the OECD Executive Council and to a public condemnation of Korea.

An internal OECD document comparing Korea’s new labour laws with legislative provisions and labour practices in other OECD countries concludes that on a number of issues Korea continues to be unique among OECD countries to the extent that its labour law restricts the formation and operation of multiple unions at company, sectorial and national levels and prevents public service workers from forming trade unions.

TUAC’s general secretary John Evans called on the OECD to send a clear message to the Korean government and given the experience with Korea to work on an instrument effectively committing member countries to observe internationally-recognised labour standards.