|▲ Union members participating in a resolution rally organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) shout the slogans to head off the move to revise the minimum wage calculation scope on March 6 in front of the Government Complex-Seoul. (Jeong Ki-hoon/Labor Today)|
The Environment and Labor Committee of the National Assembly put off the deliberation process on the minimum wage revision bill which included the adjustment of the minimum wage calculation scope. Before the deliberation on the revision bill, the committee decided to collect the opinions from experts, labor and employers' organizations. However, the labor circle reacted against the parliamentary move for the reason that "It is nothing but a mere formality of opinion collection".
According to the Environment and Labor Committee on March 18, the Employment and Labor Subcommittee(Legislative Bill Deliberation Subcommittee) will be held one after another in April and also collect the opinions of experts, labor and employers' circles. On April 3, the Minimum Wage Council will invite public interest members to debrief the report produced by the experts in the taskforce team of the Minimum Wage System Improvement Committee which was in operation last year and what has been discussed in the Minimum Wage System Improvement Subcommittee up until March 6.
The Environment and Labor Committee will meet with general secretaries of both trade union national centers and vice chairmen of the Korea Employers Federation and Korea Federation of SMEs to collect their opinions and attempt to resolve the differences on April 4 and 6. Rep. Lim Lee-ja of the Liberty Korea Party, chairwoman of the Employment and Labor Subcommittee said, "We will put our efforts into resolving the differences after collecting the opinions of labor and management. If not, the Employment and Labor Subcommittee will discuss again to decide whether to adopt the revised bill or to send back the bill to the government."
On March 14, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) made a proposal to the political parties to form a tripartite subcommittee comprising 7 lawmakers of the Committee and related officials representing labor, management and the government to prepare a draft for the improvement of the minimum wage system by April 20.
In response to the FKTU's request, on March 16, the Employment and Labor Subcommittee held a meeting to review the FKTU's proposal to form a tripartite subcommittee but it decided only to go through the opinion collection process due to the opposition by the conservative Bareunmirae Party. The Bareunmirae Party insisted that "Since the draft has been fully negotiated between labor and management in the Minimum Wage Council, it is inappropriate to set up another subcommittee to discuss the bill for now."
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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