|▲ The Minimum Wage Solidarity joined by the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) and Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU), People's Joint Action, Civic and Social Group Solidarity Conference hold a press briefing and call for the suspension of the retrogressive revision of the Minimum Wage Act in front of the National Assembly on the afternoon of May 28.(Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today)|
On May 28, the National Assembly made a passage of the revision bill of the Minimum Wage Act which contains content to expand the inclusion scope of the minimum wage components. Amid protests from the labor circle, the relations between the government and labor which had been fairly good after the launch of the Moon Jae-in government rapidly cooled down.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) held an emergency meeting of the representatives of the affiliated industrial unions and federations on the morning of May 28 and warned that they would stage a struggle calling for the abrogation of the revised Minimum Wage Act. After waiting to see the responses from the government and the ruling party, FKTU will consider the issues of the annulment of the policy solidarity pact with the ruling Democratic Party and the withdrawal of its support to the ruling party in the upcoming local elections on June 13. FKTU even hinted the possibility to stop participating in various kinds of negotiations and social dialogue with the government. A massive workers' rally will be also in the pipeline.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) went on one-day general strike and announced the struggle against the government. According to KCTU, about 80,000 union members of the Korean Metal Workers' Union(KMWU) including the Hyundai Motor Labor Union which staged a two-hour workstoppage responded to the KCTU's calls for a collective action. Many workers in the public sector also joined the walkout by taking time-off for union meetings, education or annual leaves.
Both FKTU and KCTU declared the suspension of their participation in the Minimum Wage Council and the labor-management-government representatives' meeting. KCTU will decide the withdrawal from the Minimum Wage Council at its central executives committee scheduled on May 30.
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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