Labor & Workforce

Main South Korean union begins strike against govt labor policy

Seoul, Jul 3 (EFE).- The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions announced Monday the start of a staggered strike for two weeks to protest labor policies of President Yoon Suk-yeol’s conservative government after a breakdown in negotiations on minimum wage.

The union said more than 400,000 members, around a third of the total, would monitor the strikes, which will take place for one or two days in different industries over the next few days until July 15, confederation President Yang Kyung-soo said at a press conference held before the Presidential Office.

Calling for a rise in the minimum wage and an end to policies favorable to large family-controlled conglomerates (chaebol), the slogan of the strike is “Down with the Government of Yoon Suk-yeol.”

The announcement comes after negotiations broke down last week between unions, which were asking for a 27 percent rise for next year, to KRW12,210 (about $9.30), and employers, who were proposing a freeze at KRW9,620.

Yang said Monday that the South Korean government was “destroying the country” and eroding the lives of South Koreans and democracy.

Workers in the parcel delivery sector will go on strike Monday, while on July 12 union affiliates at Hyundai Motor, the largest national car manufacturer, and those who work in metallurgical factories will do so too.

As of July 13, workers in the medical sector have announced the start of an indefinite strike at a time of tension in this area, after Yoon himself vetoed a law to more clearly define the role of nurses, who have harshly condemned the presidential veto. EFE


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