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Gov't resumes collective bargaining with civil servants' unions for first time in 10 years

All Headlines 12:29 July 02, 2018

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- Collective bargaining between the government and civil servants' unions resumed for the first time in 10 years on Monday in a highly symbolic move underlining the labor-friendly policies of President Moon Jae-in.

The government launched collective bargaining with unionized civil servants for the first time in 2006 when late former President Roh Moo-hyun was in office, but the negotiations were suspended in 2008 after Roh's business-friendly successor, Lee Myung-bak, came into office.

On Monday, the negotiations reopened with a meeting between government representatives, including Personnel Management Minister Kim Pan-suk, and their labor counterparts representing a total of 74 unions of government employees, including the Confederation of Korean Government Employees' Unions.

The 74 unions have a combined membership of about 230,000 mid and lower-level government employees.

Government representatives consisted of vice minister-level officials from the finance ministry, the education ministry, the interior ministry, the health ministry, the gender equality ministry and the anti-corruption and civil rights commission.

The resumption of negotiations is seen as a move underscoring Moon's labor-friendly stance. Since taking office last year, the Moon administration has taken a series of pro-labor policies, such as a sharp increase in the minimum wage and the ongoing upgrading of non-regular public sector workers into regular employees.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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