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[provided by the Ministry of Employment and Labor]

A tripartite forum of the automobile industry was launched on January 24 to discuss the measures to enhance the competitiveness of the local automobile industry and to address the job market changes due to the development of the future automobile industry. It can be a tripartite effort to overcome the crisis of the local automobile industry which was surfaced by the shutdown of the GM Korea Gunsan plant last year. It also draws a special attention of the business circle in that stakeholders in the automobile industry sit together for the first time ever. The Presidential Commission on Job Creation also reportedly unveiled its intention to participate in the forum.

The inauguration ceremony of the forum was held at the auditorium of the Korea Auto Industries Cooperatives Association(KAICA) in Seocho District, southern Seoul on January 24, with the participation of representatives from labor unions, manufacturers’ associations, the government and state policy research institutes: Korean Metal Workers’ Union(KMWU), Federation of Korean Metalworkers’ Trade Unions(FKMTU), Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association(KAMA), Korea Auto Industries Cooperatives Association(KAICA), Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy(MOITE), Ministry of Employment and Labor(MOEL), Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade(KIET), and Korea Labor Institute(KLI).

Tripartite representatives to the forum shared their views in common with the emphasis on the importance of the communication and their commitments to “the production of a steady and meaningful outcome.” Kim Ho-gyu, president of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union(KMWU) to which labor unions of the finished automobile companies are affiliated said that “based on the common understanding concerning the difficult prospect surrounding the local automobile industry, times have changed because labor unions can not handle the problems alone any more.” “The forum is not designed to reach agreements or conclusions through the discussion, but I am confident that we can discuss the matters from alpha to omega,” he added.

reported by Bae Hye-jung
translated by Kim Sung-jin

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