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Labor in Korea
Labor in Korea
  • Author Edited by Wonduck Lee
  • Language English
  • Publication Date June 18, 2004
  • Length 797 Pages
  • Publisher Korea Labor Institute
  • Download Labor in Korea 1987 2002.pdf Labor in Korea 1987 2002.pdf
  • SUMMARY
     Since the ‘June 29th Declaration of Democratization’ in 1987, Korean society has experienced a period of sweeping changes. The changes have not been merely a reflection of the passage of time, but fundamental transformation of the very principles that steer our society. Sixteen years have passed and there appears to be no end to times of exhilarating changes. The old mindset of the period preceding 1987 collapsed swiftly and the search for a new paradigm still continues through a variety of initiatives and reforms as democratization celebrates its 17th year. Such times of shifts and adjustments apply to the labor sector as well. The labor model of the development-oriented era before 1987 could be characterized as the restrictions of basic labor rights and, as its compensation, a strong legal protection of working conditions. The lack of studies in industrial relations on the part of both labor and management has led to a decline in voluntaristic labor-management relations while labor-government relations have become increasingly dominant. Also, the labor market was segmented between larger firms and small and medium-sized firms, and the mobility between them became increasingly limited. This trend led to rigidity in the labor market. Because of such factors as the development of internal labor market and the practice of lifetime employment, the infrastructure of the labor market, including job security, has not been further developed and a social security network has not been fully realized. In the post-1987 era of democratization, changes and reforms were vigorously pursued to bring to an end the repressive labor policies of the past. This book aims to document and analyze the changes and reforms in the labor sector following the era of democratization. It was soon after 1987 that the restrictions on basic labor rights were swiftly lifted and the labor movement began to flourish. Continuous efforts were made to reinforce the flexibility of the labor market. The concepts of job security as well as social security became a pressing issue. Yet, despite such efforts, satisfactory prototypes of labor-management relations and a labor market that could be considered consistent with the changes of the time did not take deep root in society. For this reason, this period is referred to as the transitional stage. The transitional stage has been and continues to be a period of flux and insecurity. Insecurity leads to social conflict and economic inefficiency. It has been during this period that our society has suffered through an unprecedented economic crisis. We all hope that this transitional stage ends soon and a new era opens the door to a brighter future, and that economic vitality and a cooperative approach among the various powers of society will be restored at the earliest possible time. The analysis and evaluation of the transitional period as noted in this book is the result of a fervent desire to bring forth the creation of a new paradigm in the labor sector. This book comprises 22 Chapters. Following the introduction by the editor in Chapter 1, Part II deals with industrial relations and has six theses. Part III, composed of nine theses, analyzes and evaluates the changes in the labor market. Part IV, the final part composed of six theses, deals with employment insurance and industrial accident compensation insurance as well as the development of public welfare for workers.