The Labor Relations Commission is found that it has approved more than 90% of the applications for the amendment of the collective agreements lodged by the Ministry of Employment and Labor(MOEL) and autonomous local governments. It is pointed out with concerns that the system to control the abusive amendment orders issued by the administrative authorities against the autonomous collective agreements between labor and management has broken down.
Since the MOEL this year has already recommended about 1,500 workplaces to voluntarily amend their collective agreements, it is anticipated that the amendment orders of the collective agreements would increase drastically.
The Korea Daily Labor News acquired two reports: one is regarding 'the critical review on the excessive administrative guidance on the workplaces imposed by the MOEL' jointly analyzed by an opposition Minju Party of Korea lawmaker Han Jung-ae and the Federation of Korean Metalworkers' Trade Unions(FKMTU). The other is regarding 'the resolution data on the amendment orders of collective agreements decided by the Labor Relations Commission in the past 5 years' by another Minju Party of Korea lawmaker Lee Yong-deuk.
According to the reports, since 1999 up until July this year, 286 applications for the amendment of the collective agreements were lodged at 12 Regional Labor Relations Commissions nationwide. Among them 238 orders(83.2%) were approved to amend the collective agreements as requested by the administrative authorities. The dismissals and rejections were only 21 cases in total, 18 and 3 respectively. When 27 applications withdrawn by the administrative authorities were excluded from the total, the approval rate goes beyond 93%.
Lawmaker Han Jung-ae said that "the Labor Relations Commission should play a role in screening the system abuse as a quasi-judicial body before the administrative authorities issue the amendment orders, but the Commission does not function its mandates properly". The problem does not stop there. It is anticipated that the applications for the amendment of collective agreements will increase rapidly.
From April to June this year, the MOEL recommended 1,503 workplaces to voluntarily amend the collective agreements for the reasons of 'violating the law or being irrational', such as the selection of single collective bargaining union, special recruitment incentives for family members of the retired and the industrial accident victims, financial support to union operation and facilities, maternity and childcare leaves.
Even, although the consultation between labor and management on the issues of disciplined dismissal and company restructuring is in compliance with the legal provision, the administrative authorities demand the amendment for "irrational union's interference in the personnel and managerial rights".
Lawmaker Lee Yong-deuk criticized the MOEL by raising the questions on whether there were actually any specially recruited workers of such cases or whose judgement is based on to decide the collective agreement 'being irrational'.
The MOEL will recommend the companies whose the collective agreements are not pursuant to the legal provisions to voluntarily amend the collective agreements. If the companies concerned do not observe the recommendations, the MOEL will lodge the Labor Relations Commission the application for the amendment of the collective agreements and take judicial actions against them.
reported by Kim Hak-tae