|▲ EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Michael Reiterer(left) speaks in a ‘government-to-government consultation regarding the implementation of trade and sustainable development(TSD) chapter held in the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in central Seoul on January 21. [Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today]|
The government of the Republic of Korea and the European Union(EU) started government-to-government consultations scheduled for 90 days to find a solution regarding the dispute in relation to the outstanding ratification by Korea of four fundamental conventions: No. 87 regarding the freedom of association and protection of the right to organize; Convention; No. 98 regarding the right to organize and collective bargaining; No. 29 regarding the forced labor; No. 105 regarding the abolition of forced labor.
Consultations kicked off by the request of the European Union(EU), citing “the implementation of Korea’s commitments on the free trade agreement(FTA) is not satisfactory.” According to the trade and sustainable development(TSD) chapter of the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement(FTA), the parties shall respect, promote and realize basic labor rights in their laws and practices, namely: the freedom of association, the elimination of forced labor, the abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination, and also make continued efforts towards ratifying the fundamental ILO conventions and ‘up-to-date’ conventions.
In the government-to-government consultations, the Korean government is expected to explain its viewpoints on the list of questions delivered by EU in December last year and intensively discuss the ways to implement the trade and sustainable development chapter. The items for the consultations include the trade union rights for the dismissed and unemployed in accordance with the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act, the trade union registration system, the application of the Criminal Act(obstruction of business) against the peaceful striking workers, the government correction orders to the collective agreements, and the ratification of core ILO conventions.
reported by Kim Hak-tae
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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