[Statement] National Assembly and Administration should more forward with ratifying ILO Conventions and legislating to protect labor rights
- 2018.11.21 (14:34:25)
National Assembly and Administration should move forward with ratifying ILO Conventions and legislating to protect labor rights
ILO CO87 and CO98 ratification is pivotal in securing labor rights in accordance with international labor standards
Labor Relations System/Practice Improvement Committee under the Economic, Social and Labor Council presented a ‘recommendation agreed by public interest groups to move forward with ratifying ILO’s Conventions’(https://bit.ly/2Bo1Dl2) on November 20, 2018. The committee finally reached an agreement for the recommendation proposal after more than 10 meetings by members recommended by both labor and management since its launch back in July.
Committee for Fair Labor Society at PSPD expects this recommendation by the public interest group members to ignite the movement to ratify ILO convention CO87(Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention) and CO98(Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention) which will play a pivotal role in securing labor rights enacted in the Korean Constitution. We also urge that National Assembly and the Administration start legislation to secure labor rights and ratify the ILO Conventions in a prompt manner.
The recommendation by the public interest groups clearly states the followings.:
△ The government and National Assembly to start amending legislation to ratify ILO CO87 and CO98 in a swift manner
△ A legislation is a must to secure the right to organize in accordance with ILO conventions
△ A solution must be sought to protect workers in special employment to guarantee their freedom of association in line with ILO Convention CO87.
The recommendation for legislation amendment by the committee includes 1) Amendment of Article 2 Item 4 Line La in Labor Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act (hereinafter referred to as Labor Union Act) which prevents the laid-off and the unemployed from unionizing and acting, 2) Amendment of Article 23 Clause 1 of Labor Union Act that only current employees can serve as trade union’s officers, 3) Amendment of Article 10 and 12 of the same that trade unions must notify the government bodies to be certified as an establishment which is in contravention of “the right to freely organize and unionize” stated in Article 5 of the Act, 4) Amendment of Article 6 of the Act on the Establishment and Operation, ETC., of Public Officials' trade unions which limits classes and job functions of government employees who can unionize, 5) Amendment of Article 2 in Act on Establishment and Operation of Labor Unions of Teachers to allow more teachers to unionize, 6) Rescindment of Article 9 clause 2 in the Enforcement Decree of the Labor Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act that government officials such as Minister of Employment and Labor may, based on their judgement, undermine an office of a trade union and 7) Adjustment of Labor laws regarding full time union representatives so they can be paid fully and be exempt from the work hours.
The recommendation by the committee is significant as it clearly states what amendments need to be made to fix long-overdue and unfair labor relations issues and even links these changes with ILO conventions in their discussion.
Legislation changes in the recommendation should have been acted on much sooner, led by the administration and National Assembly, in honor of Labor’s 3 primary rights guaranteed by the Korean constitution as well as ILO CO87 and CO98 as these two government bodies have the obligations to protect people’s natural rights. Both bodies have been slow in making efforts to amend the laws and rather neglected to adopt the international standards. Over 27 years ago, South Korea became a member of ILO in December 1991. Yet, South Korea has not ratified ILO’s Conventions and ILO has been making recommendations to make systematic changes constantly since 1993.
With the recommendation by the public interest groups in place now, the administration should start preparing to ratify Conventions promptly while National Assembly should be starting its discussions around legislation changes. A resolution urging ratification of CO87 and CO98(https://goo.gl/3UpcK2) has already been submitted to National Assembly and it is currently sitting on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. Now the time has come for the administration and National Assembly to put into action.
In addition to CO87 and CO98, there are CO29(Forced Labor Convention) and CO105(Abolition of Forced Labor Convention) related to forced labor issues. As promised by President Moon during his presidential election campaign, a discussion must start for ratification of CO29 and CO105 and some related legislation changes must follow.
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