South Korea’s Labor Management and Government Reps Reach Agreement

luvsmiling, Sept. 13, 2015, 10:03 a.m.

South Korea's labor, management and government representatives on Sunday agreed to ease labor restrictions after months of tense negotiations. Under the agreement, labor and management would consult experts on ways to overhaul employment contracts, the tripartite committee said. The committee is comprised of a representative each from the Federation of Korea Trade Unions (FKTU), the Korea Employers' Federation and the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

Until then, laws and legal precedents would decide the conditions in which employers are granted freedom to dismiss workers or change the terms of contracts. Labor and management would also carry out surveys to better understand the extent to which non-regular workers are used and consult experts on ways to improve their work conditions.

Businesses that employ young workers would receive some form of government support, and any money saved from adopting the wage-peak system would go toward hiring more young people. The agreement also prevents the government from pursuing a unilateral reform measure as it said it would on Friday.

The deal came at the eleventh hour after the committee failed to meet Thursday's deadline. The agreement requires an approval from the FKTU's central executive committee by Monday to fully take effect. Cheong Wa Dae welcomed the news since easing labor regulations has been one of President Park Geun-hye's top priority goals for the second half of her presidency.
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