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Gov't to impose fines on 86 labor unions refusing to disclose account books

All News 15:20 March 14, 2023

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- The government will impose fines on 86 labor unions that have been defying repeated calls for the disclosure of their account books, officials said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Labor and Employment said 86 out of 319 labor unions and groups with 1,000 or more members have refused the government's request for accounting records as of Monday.

Under the relevant labor law, labor organizations who fail to keep their documents or falsify their financial activities can face a fine of up to 5 million won (US$3,800).

In accordance, the ministry said it will give the violators prior notice by the end of this month, after which the unions will have 10 days to submit their opinions before the fine is imposed.

The ministry said only 37.1 percent of labor unions affiliated with one of the country's two largest umbrella unions -- the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions -- submitted the records. Meanwhile, 81.5 percent of unions affiliated with the Federation of Korean Trade Unions have complied with the government demand.

Recently, People Power Party Rep. Kweon Seong-dong claimed that the two umbrella unions received 152.1 billion won in subsidies from the labor ministry and regional governments between 2018 and 2022.

Starting this year, the government will exclude labor groups that fail to meet their accounting obligations from government subsidies.

Also, the ministry will carry out an on-site inspection on labor unions to ensure that they are preserving their account books starting next month.

The government of President Yoon Suk Yeol has made labor reform a key policy focus, vowing to eradicate illegal practices by labor unions at construction sites, such as forcing employers to hire people they want.

In accordance, the government has also been prodding labor unions to submit accounting records to increase financial transparency of labor unions to make it harder for improper spending to take place.


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