Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said he would take stern action against the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ general strike scheduled for April 24. “The strike the KCTU is planning on is illegal and lacks legitimacy, the purpose of which is not better working conditions but opposition to government policy for labor market restructuring and public employee pension reform,” he stressed.
Experts say that the impact of the strike will not be as strong as predicted because the Hyundai Motor Company labor union, a part of the Korea Metal Workers’ Union under the KCTU, has opted not to join the strike. The 24,000-member union’s official stance on the strike is that the KCTU’s claims are rather baseless.
In the meantime, the government is planning to reform wage systems in May for labor market restructuring and deal with the termination of full-timers’ employment contracts in the following months. “The Korean government believes that the answer to the problems such as labor market uncertainties and youth unemployment lies in labor market restructuring and we will try so legislation can be completed within this month regarding those issues we have reached a consensus with employers and employees like shorter working hours,” the Deputy Prime Minister added, continuing, “I am aware that many young people are worried about the extension of retirement age to 60 and I will come up with win-win measures based on wage peak and incentives for those hiring young people.”