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KLI Employment & Labor Brief No.92 (2019-07): Industrial Relations: Review and Issues in the First Half of 2019 and Challenges in the Second Half
KLI Employment & Labor Brief No.92 (2019-07): Industrial Relations: Review and Issues in the First Half of 2019 and Challenges in the Second Half
  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    I. Review of Industrial Relations: First Half of 2019

    II. Industrial Relations Outlook and Challenges: The Second Half of 2019

     

    Summary

    The Moon Jae-in administration has reached the halfway point of its term. Although its first-year labor policies received relatively positive assessments, the administration began to attract more negative reviews during the second year of the term. The labor circle evaluates that the government has regressed in its effort to implement labor reforms, saying that the minimum wage increase has been weakened by the expansion of the scope of wages included in the minimum wage; the reduction of the maximum workweek to 52 hours by the plan to extend the unit period of flexible working hours; the commitment to ratify ILO core conventions by calls to “legislate first and ratify later”; and the conversion of non-regular workers in the public sector to regular status by hiring through subsidiaries with limited improvement in the working conditions and treatment for the converted workers. After it was decided that the minimum wage for 2020 will increase by 2.87% year on year, all of the labor representatives from the nation’s two umbrella unions resigned from their posts at the Minimum Wage Commission in protest. Meanwhile, the Economic, Social and Labor Council has also been facing difficulties in resolving different opinions surrounding flexible working hours. While the current administration’s policy direction of pursuing income-led growth and building a society that respects labor was initially considered new and groundbreaking, its implementation of the campaign pledges has been “slowing down” in terms of individual labor relations, and “stagnating” in terms of collective industrial relations. This paper aims to review the industrial relations for the first half of 2019 and summarize the issues and challenges for the second half of 2019