Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in Korea

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Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in Korea By Kim, Sung Jin Korea Labor

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining in Korea By Kim, Sung Jin Korea Labor Foundation (KLF) Seoul, Korea

Q 1 o How many workers do you need to form a trade union

Q 1 o How many workers do you need to form a trade union in your country?

Q 2 o Who are the actors of industrial relations?

Q 2 o Who are the actors of industrial relations?

Q 3 o Is it possible for a trade union to bargain collectively with

Q 3 o Is it possible for a trade union to bargain collectively with the employer without having been recognized?

Q 4 o How do you think of a trade union without a collective

Q 4 o How do you think of a trade union without a collective agreement?

1. Historical background to industrial relations in Korea ○ Korea War in 1950 -53

1. Historical background to industrial relations in Korea ○ Korea War in 1950 -53 ○ Image of trade unions and labor movement in a conservative society of divided Korea

○ Political authoritarianism after 1961 military coup, and Park Chung-hee, Jeon Doo-whan regimes until

○ Political authoritarianism after 1961 military coup, and Park Chung-hee, Jeon Doo-whan regimes until 1987 ○ Heavy restrictions on freedom of association ○ Industrialization driven by the exports; restricting trade union activities

○ Enterprise-based trade unions – weak and dependent on employers ○ Full-time union officers

○ Enterprise-based trade unions – weak and dependent on employers ○ Full-time union officers paid by employers ○ Most of collective negotiations at the enterprise level – employers with upper hand

2. Political democratization and 1987 industrial relations system ○ Political freedom won from 1987

2. Political democratization and 1987 industrial relations system ○ Political freedom won from 1987 democracy struggle ○ Fresh opportunities for “democratic trade unions” to be organized and independent of employers and the state(KCTU) ○ Old unions also more active than before, but moderate until 1990 s(FKTU)

○ Support of workers and general public alike to trade union movement ○ Union’s

○ Support of workers and general public alike to trade union movement ○ Union’s negotiation power > employers’ power ○ Single, strong enterprise-based unions

3. 1997 industrial relations system ○ New FKTU in solidarity with KCTU in 1997

3. 1997 industrial relations system ○ New FKTU in solidarity with KCTU in 1997 workers’ struggle ○ Freedom of association permitted at the industry and national level (industrial unions/federations, and national union centers) ○ Multiple unions not yet allowed at the enterprise level

4. 2010 industrial relations system ○ Ban on payment to full-time union officers by

4. 2010 industrial relations system ○ Ban on payment to full-time union officers by employers (unfair labor practice) ○ Paid time-off, instead

5. 2011 industrial relations system ○ Freedom of association to all levels ○ Collective

5. 2011 industrial relations system ○ Freedom of association to all levels ○ Collective bargaining in the multiple union system

6. Concluding and Q 5 ○ Bargaining power of parties/actors ○ Bargaining level (enterprise,

6. Concluding and Q 5 ○ Bargaining power of parties/actors ○ Bargaining level (enterprise, subsectoral, regional, industry, national) ○ Social dialogue ○ What is your opinion for stronger bargaining power in full freedom of association?