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Federation of Korean Trade Unions Negotiating A Pay Raise Along With Subcontractors’ Wage

By Kyung-Joon Chung (news91@donga.com), Dong-A Ilbo, 22 December 2003 22:51

Controversy is expected as the Federation of Korean Trade Unions plans to demand higher wages for workers of subcontractors when negotiating wages next year. The higher wages are a way of resolving discrimination against irregular workers.

On December 21, according to the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, policy makers of the sub-federations and local headquarters recently held a forum entitled Establishment and Policy of 2004 Business Plan and confirmed provisional measures about next year’s wages and collective negotiations.

It is the first time that the Federation of Korean Trade Unions directly engaged in the decision on the pay raise for subcontractors’ labors, even though there was a precedent that it demanded a raise of unit costs of delivered goods from subcontractors in order to resolve discrimination between regular and irregular workers.

If this plan is confirmed, grand affiliated labor unions, including Hyundai Motor and Kia Motor, will demand higher unit costs of subcontractors, as well as a pay raise for the workers, by suggesting a raise plan itself when negotiating next year.

Sohn Nak-gu, the head of education and propaganda of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions explained, This is to improve on the current bad practices that raising unit costs does not pay back to the workers of the subcontractors.

However, adverse criticism is inevitable in that wage issues of the workers of the subcontractors. Most are not legally negotiating things, and in order to reduce labor cost burdens, corporations using subcontractors will not accept this demand from labor unions of regular workers.