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President pledges to work with both workers and employers to create quality jobs

All News 17:16 June 21, 2017

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in vowed to work with both laborers and their employers Wednesday, noting the creation of new, quality jobs requires the support and cooperation of both sides.

"The policy on creating new jobs is a task that can only be achieved through dialogue and compromise, as well as cooperation and solidarity based on mutual trust of the labor, management and government," the president said while speaking in the inaugural meeting of the new Presidential Committee on Job Creation.

The meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae was preceded by a ceremony marking the appointment of 13 committee members from the private sector.

They included Park Yong-maan, chairman of construction equipment giant Doosan Infracore and head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as top officials from two largest labor umbrella organizations -- the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.

President Moon Jae-in (L) greets members of the new Presidential Committee on Job Creation before the start of its inaugural meeting at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on June 21, 2017. (Yonhap)

President Moon noted the meeting marked the first of its kind in 18 years to be attended by top representatives of the leading labor organizations and the business lobby at the same time.

"I am pro-labor, but I am also pro-management and business-friendly. As you represent all various groups in our society, I wish you would become the center of our social discussions to create practical and realistic policies and reach a consensus," he said.

The president came into office on May 10 after winning a presidential by-election caused by the ouster of former conservative leader Park Geun-hye over a massive corruption allegation.

Moon noted the laborers may have been completely removed from discussions on policies that affect them under the past two conservative governments, but said his government will be different.

"Along with business circle, we will respect and treat labor organizations as an important partner," he said.

The president has promised to create 810,000 new jobs in the public sector alone during his five-year term.

He noted there may be many urgent issues that need to be addressed, but said they may take time, possibly up to a year, to be addressed.

"Labor, because it has been suppressed under the two former governments, may have a lot to ask. But we need time," the president told the meeting.

Still, he urged the new committee to move quickly, calling it to come up with a policy road map for new job creation by the end of August.

"Jobs are the foundation of economic growth and economic democracy. It is a solution to our high youth unemployment rate, a key measure for our low birth rate, the best welfare policy and the fundamental rights of our people. That is why, at this time, the most urgent national issue is job creation," Moon said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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