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South Korea: ILO employment policy director says ILO conventions should not be subject to conditions

Author: Kim Bo-gyung, Korea Herald (South Korea), Published on: 17 June 2019

“ILO conventions are universal rights: ILO Director”, 14 June 2019

Lee Sang-heon, the director of the International Labor Organization’s employment policy department… stressed that core ILO conventions are minimal universal rights of laborers and took a negative stance on allowing substitute laborers in case of a strike. “Key ILO conventions are minimal universal rights that should be granted all workers regardless of where they are. … They should not be subject to negotiation or conditions,” Lee said.

Amid pressure from the EU for South Korea to ratify four of the eight essential ILO conventions, the business community has requested companies be allowed to use substitute workers during strikes as a precondition for passing the conventions. The business community argues that strengthened right to assemble would break the labor-management balance and advantage labor unions.

“The key conventions were made to simplify matters and recognize them as rights. It is not appropriate to do this and that in order to ratify key conventions,” Lee said.

South Korea has yet to adopt ILO conventions on freedom of association, protection of the right to organize, abolition of forced labor and the right to collective bargaining…

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