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KCTU to Start General Strike
Labor Market Woes
KCTU to Start General Strike
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • April 14, 2015, 01:15
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Han Sang-kyun (middle), head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, held a press conference on April 13 to announce the result of its recent strike vote.
Han Sang-kyun (middle), head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, held a press conference on April 13 to announce the result of its recent strike vote.

 

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) will go on a general strike on April 24. At least two-sevenths of its 700,000 members are predicted to join the strike. 

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), which recently opted to fight instead of negotiating at the tripartite talks, is likely to hold hands with the KCTU as the issues at stake are serious, including labor market restructuring, government employee pension reform, minimum wage increases, and government organization reform. 

The Ulsan branch of the Hyundai Motor Company labor union, the large part of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union of the KCTU, has yet to decide on the participation of the general strike. It is expected that 400 to 500 high-ranking members will join on behalf of the 47,000 or so union members. 

In the meantime, the government is planning to take a hard line on the strike, with a series of political issues. The business community is much concerned over the walkout as well. “Government policy, law revisions, and what has been discussed at the Minimum Wage Committee cannot constitute the purpose of the strike,” the Korea Employers Federation said in its official statement, adding, “The government should not sit back and watch the strike to precede similar ones scheduled for May and June regarding wage bargaining and the like.”