From “120-hour workweek” to banning nighttime rallies…this is how the door to dialogue was closed
From the cargo solidarity strike to the union’s accounting problems to the토토사이트 police baton crackdown, the conflict between the Yoon administration and the labor movement has been escalating, and even the Korean Trade Union Confederation has turned its back.
Reporter Sung Hwa-sun summarizes what happened.
When Yoon was a candidate, his remarks on working hours caused a huge controversy.
[July 18, 2021: (To develop a game) you have to work 120 hours a week, not 52 hours a week, and then play for two weeks].
Criticism from labor quickly followed.
After Yoon’s government took office, the Democratic Trade Union Confederation’s freight solidarity went on a collective transportation boycott, and the government pressured the union with an open work order.
[Lee Bong-joo/Chairman of the Cargo Solidarity Headquarters of the Public Transport Workers’ Union of the Democratic Trade Union Confederation (November 29, 2022): The government, which claimed to have laws and principles, has broken its own principles…]
As the hardline response led to rising approval ratings, the level of pressure on unions increased.
Earlier this year, President Yoon strongly criticized construction unions.
[February 21: Rigid vested unions still openly engage in illegal activities such as demanding money, forcing recruitment, and obstructing construction…]
The minister of MOLIT called the unions’ illegal behavior a dry run.
[Won Hee-ryong/Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (Feb. 21) : There are just under 5,000 cranes, and the 4,000 or so (tower crane operators) who belong to the construction union have a monopoly on all of them].
The union once again reacted strongly.
[Jung Min-ho/Deputy Chairman of the Construction Workers’ Union (February 28) : (The monthly fee) is in exchange for doing work to shorten the air and doing work that is dangerous and should not be done].
The Minister of Employment and Labor took issue with the union’s accounting books.
[Lee Jung-sik/Minister of Employment and Labor (Feb. 20) : The tax credit for trade union dues, which is currently 15 percent for unions that do not submit accounting data, will also be removed…]
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions began a two-day rally in the center of Seoul, and the government said it would limit the rally altogether.
[Last May 23: The rallying behavior of the NCTU will be difficult for the public to tolerate].
Then, last month, a KCTU official was injured during police repression at a watchtower rally.
The door to dialogue between the government and the union was thus closed.