|▲ Moon Sung-hyun, chairman of the Economic, Social and Labor Council replies to the questions raised by the lawmakers of the Employment and Labor Committee during the parliamentary audit and inspection of the Ministry of Employment and Labor on October 16. [Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today]|
Amid a crucial decision to be made by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) for its participation in the new social dialogue body, the Economic, Social and Labor Council(ESLC) through an extraordinary (policy) national congress on October 17, Moon Sung-hyun, chairman of the Economic, Social and Labor Council said in the parliamentary audit and inspection of the Ministry of Employment and Labor that "We have to support and look forward to KCTU's participation in the social dialogue."
Moon's remark is a reply to a request made by Rep. Lee Yong-deuk of the ruling Democratic Party in the Environment and Labor Committee of the National Assembly that the Economic, Social and Labor Council should be launched despite in a possible situation that KCTU is unable to come to a decision for its participation in the new social dialogue body.
The former tripartite commission has been reorganized as the Economic, Social and Labor Council with the expansion of participating organizations and the full amendment of the Act on the Tripartite Commission for Economic and Social Development in May this year. However, five months have passed without the official launch of the Economic, Social and Labor Council, because it waits for the decision of KCTU's participation.
Bearing in mind that a number of legislations in respect of the construction of a society where labor is respected are in the pipeline, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) takes a stand that it is getting more difficult to wait further longer for the KCTU's decision on the participation. Rep. Lee's request also implies that "The further delay of the ESLC's official launch will be undesirable, because it would take time for the National Assembly to pass several bills which should be first discussed for the consensus building among member organizations of the social dialogue body."
It is reported that opinions of the pros and cons toward the participation in the new social dialogue body are equally mixed among KCTU congress representatives and even there are concerns that the congress may fail to meet the quorum or unlimited debate over the agenda would hinder the decision.
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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