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No. 78 / May 2008 HOME minjk@kli.re.kr  
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  Recent Publications
Two Decades of Labor System since 1987 : Evaluation and Future Map Study Series on the Labor Issues of the Past 20 Years since 1987-Summary Report
 
Author
Page Count
Language
Price
Publisher
Publication Date
 Youngki Choi and Chang-won Lee
 140
 Korean
 KRW 7000
 Korea Labor Institute
 2008.04.28
Abstract
Twenty years on since the democratization and the grand labor struggle of 1987, the Korean society is facing numerous challenges today. These include: a low employment rate, the dual structure in the labor market, distrust and conflict in labor-management relations, and a social safety net that falls far short of the OECD average. Solutions to these complicated problems can be found by major economic players making strategic choices under the current institutional restrictions and their relationships of power. The aim of this research is to conduct a multi-faceted evaluation project on the two decades of labor since 1987: assessing the past twenty years and exploring the directions for future development, policy initiatives, and new labor research topics as we stand at a turning point in the country’s development history where the 1987 system has reached its end and a new sustainable employment system must emerge.


- Table of Contents -

Part I. Evaluation & Future Prospects of Two Decades of Labor: How to Build a Korean-style Labor Market
Chapter 1 Awareness at Starting Point 3
Chapter 2 Research Techniques & Format 6
Chapter 3 Achievements & Future Tasks in Two Decades of Labor 10
Chapter 4 Institutional Barriers to Challenge 17
Chapter 5 To Build a Korean-style Labor Market 21
Chapter 6 Concluding Remarks: Korean Economy Cannot Advance without Resolving Labor Problems 32

Part II. Summary on Two Decades of Labor Research: Ten Discussion Topics
Chapter 7 History of Two Decades of Labor & Selection of 10 Discussion Topics 37
Chapter 8 Development of Economy & Industry and the Two Decades of Labor 41
Chapter 9 Development of Politics & Society and the Two Decades of Labor 68
Chapter 10 Development of Labor Market & Changes in Labor-Management Relations 87
Chapter 11 History of Labor Movement & Labor-Management Relations 101
Chapter 12 Sustainable Growth & Role of Labor 126

References 140
 
Legal Principles Determining Working Conditions at Non-unionized Workplaces
 
Author
Page Count
Language
Price
Publisher
Publication Date
 Jeseong Park
 93
 Korean
 KRW 5000
 Korea Labor Institute
 2008.04.18
Abstract
Article 33 Paragraph 1 of the Korean Constitution guarantees three basic labor rights, thereby ensuring that workers overcome the relations of subordination on the individual level and become equal with employers on the collective level to attain the rights to make collective decisions on their working conditions. This may be termed the “principle of equal decision on working conditions.”
The most representative form of this principle would be collective bargaining and collective agreements by labor unions. The absence of labor union should not excuse parties from disregarding this principle. In real life, however, this principle is not observed in non-unionized workplaces. The labor union is just one representation manifested in history, not something that reflects its inherent nature. Subsequently, there should be a different type of representation in the absence of a labor union, so that a group of workers can be guaranteed of a channel to collective bargaining. In short, the right to form a labor union should be separated from the issue of institutionally guaranteeing the collective bargaining right.
Based on this problem statement and legal precedents from France, this study proposed the following measures to bring workers in non-unionized workplaces to have an equal say in determining working conditions.
First, workplaces with labor councils should grant council members the authority to engage in collective bargaining and conclude collective agreements.
Second, workplaces without even labor councils should allow workers commissioned by trade unions or regional labor unions to engage in collective bargaining and conclude collective agreements.
In that regard, the criteria for selecting personnel for collective agreement should be changed from “union member applicability” to “worker applicability.” Collective agreements should be put to the poll and when the majority of employees vote in their favor, the agreements should be applied to all employees, including non-unionized workers.
In order to foster labor-management partnership on all levels, it is imperative to establish negotiation or dialogue as the principle means of problem and conflict resolution and institutionalize dialogue partners.


- Table of Contents -

Summary i
Introduction 1
Chapter 1. Limitations of Legal Principles on the Current Decision-making of Collective Working Conditions 8
Chapter 2. Review of Legal Precedents in France 38
Chapter 3. Toward a New Legal Principle on Collective Decision-making of Collective Working Conditions 68
Conclusion 84
Reference 92
 
 
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The e-labor News is the monthly electronic newsletter of the Engea Labor Institute (KLI)
It brings you monthly summaries of our events. publication and reports of the KLI. For more information, please contact: Min-Jeong Kim

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e-mail: minjk@kli.re.kr