민주노총, 정부와 업계와 맞서 계속 투쟁

문서번호 생성일 배포일 분류 출처
09SEOUL632 2009-04-17 07:12 2011-09-01 23:24 대외비 (CONFIDENTIAL) 서울 대사관

태그: ELAB [Labor Sector Affairs], KS [Korea (South)]

참조 : SEOUL 000415
문서분류자: 폴 조셉 Y. 윤 분류 근거: 1.4 (b,d). Classified By: POL Joseph Y. Yun. Reasons 1.4 (b,d).

¶1. (C) 요약: 4월9일 폴로프는, 두 개의 노조 총연맹 중 보다 강성이고, 최근 성 추문으로 지도부가 교체되고 그 때문에 상당 수 산하 노조의 탈퇴를 겪은 민주노총 대표들과 만났다. 임승규 신임 위원장도 참석했는데, 민주노총이 한미 에프티에이 및 기타 정책들을 강하게 비난해 왔기에 이례적이라 할 수 있다.

배경

¶2. (C)

New President Opened With Foreign Policy

¶3. (C)

¶4. (C)

On Labor

¶5. (C)

¶6. (C)

¶7. (C)

¶8. (SBU)

Comment

¶9. (C)

원본

Reference id 09SEOUL632
Subject Radical Union Continues Struggle Against Government, Business 
Origin Embassy Seoul (South Korea)  
Cable time Fri, 17 Apr 2009 07:12 UTC 
Classification CONFIDENTIAL 
Source http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09SEOUL632.html 
References 09SEOUL415  
History First published on Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24 UTC 
Extras ? Comments 

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SEOUL 000632 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/17/2019 
TAGS: ELAB [Labor Sector Affairs], KS [Korea (South)] 
SUBJECT: RADICAL UNION CONTINUES STRUGGLE AGAINST 
GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS 
 
REF: SEOUL 000415 
 
Classified By: POL Joseph Y. Yun.  Reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY: On April 9, poloff met with representatives 
of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the more 
radical of Korea's two umbrella trade organizations, which 
recently changed leadership because of a sex scandal and 
suffered the defection of a number of its affiliated unions. 
The newly-elected president, Lim Sung-kyu, also joined the 
meeting, an unusual move for an organization that has 
expressed sometimes violent opposition to the KORUS FTA and 
other U.S. policies.   Lim claimed that many foreigners had a 
distorted perception of the Korean labor movement because of 
government and business propaganda.  In fact, Lim said, KCTU 
wanted to build stable labor-government relations.  KCTU 
representatives said they opposed the social contract that 
some unions had signed with the government to respond to the 
current economic crisis because they did not think the 
employers' obligations were adequately stipulated and they 
did not trust businesses to act in good conscience.  KCTU 
representatives also discussed their efforts to press the 
government to create more jobs, strengthen social support 
systems for the working poor, and convert "irregular" 
workers, who work on a contract basis with few benefits, to 
regular employees.  END SUMMARY. 
 
---------- 
Background 
---------- 
 
¶2.  (C) KCTU's president and five other executive committee 
members resigned en masse in February to take responsibility 
for a sex scandal that badly damaged the union's reputation. 
One of the former president's close associates attempted to 
sexually assault a fellow female union member and some in the 
executive committee were accused of engaging in a cover-up. 
The scandal came to light when an in-house investigative 
panel admitted the cover-up.  The new leadership has vowed to 
revive the union's image, but on April 10 more affiliated 
unions voted to disassociate from KCTU, citing the 
organization's emphasis on protest over negotiations.  The 
departing unions only represent about 7,000 of KCTU's 680,000 
members; currently, the largest affiliated unions are the 
teachers' union and the metalworkers' unions. 
 
---------------------------------------- 
New President Opened With Foreign Policy 
---------------------------------------- 
 
¶3.  (C) Reflective of organized labor's long-standing 
pro-engagement attitudes toward the North, newly-elected KCTU 
President Lim Sung-kyu started the discussion with a critique 
of U.S. policy towards Pyongyang.  Lim said that all Koreans 
want to reunite with the North.  The former U.S. 
Administration's policies were at odds with this goal, he 
said; Lim expressed his hope that the new administration 
would have policies that were conducive to building a peace 
regime on the peninsula. 
 
¶4.  (C) Lim also said that U.S. policy was critical to 
recover from the economic crisis.  He said that Washington 
needed to be sure to keep an eye on human rights and labor 
issues in Korea.  If there were problems in these areas, Lim 
predicted, anti-Americanism could increase.  Lim said 
President Lee Myung-bak would not listen to workers' demands, 
so the union would have to take action.  To be successful in 
bringing Korea's labor environment in line with international 
standards, pressure from the international community was 
essential. 
 
-------- 
On Labor 
-------- 
 
¶5.  (C) In a separate meeting, KCTU International Director 
Lee Chang-geun outlined the organization's stance on the 
current economic situation.  KCTU opposed the social contract 
that rival umbrella group, the Federation of Korean Trade 
Unions (FKTU), (reftel) agreed to with business groups and 
the government.  Lee said that the burden on the workers was 
 
very clearly defined, but the responsibilities of businesses 
were ambiguous.  Lee said businesses could not be trusted to 
act in good faith.  Additionally, the procedure for 
negotiating the social contract was undemocratic; for 
example, KCTU was not included. 
 
¶6.  (C) Lee also outlined KCTU's priorities for the Korean 
government.  The organization had been urging the government 
to counter the economic crisis by expanding the budget to 
create new, "good" jobs, particularly in public and social 
services like child and elder care.  Additionally, Lee said, 
the ROKG should strengthen the social safety net. 
Unemployment and health care insurance needed to be improved, 
especially for the working poor. 
 
¶7.  (C) Lee discussed the topic of "irregular" workers, which 
he insisted on calling "precarious" workers in English, 
although he used the same Korean word.  The main problem of 
the government's plan to lengthen from two to four years the 
time such workers can be employed before they have to be 
converted to permanent employees was that it was a temporary 
solution.  The time limit was currently the only limitation 
on how these workers could be used and prolonging that would 
only allow employers to use them more frequently.  Instead, 
limitations on the use of irregular workers should be 
increased and stipulated in the law.  The government also 
should reduce the pay gap between regular and irregular 
workers, Lee said, and allow the latter to unionize. 
 
¶8.  (SBU) Toward the end of the meeting Lee also noted his 
opposition to the KORUS FTA -- a long-standing KCTU position 
-- and inquired about prospects for ratification in the U.S. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶9.  (C) KCTU interlocutors were civil but clear in their 
opposition to U.S. policies.  President Lim Sung-kyu's 
willingness to talk to the Embassy -- and his invitation to 
meet with the Ambassador -- could reflect some change in the 
often militant union.  In an economic environment in which 
job preservation -- not wage increases -- are the primary 
goal, FKTU's decision to enter into its social contract with 
business and the government stands in stark contrast to 
KCTU's continued calls for struggle.  KCTU is likely to face 
additional attrition as the economic crisis deepens, but its 
biggest unions are also the most radical -- the teachers, 
truckers, and metalworkers -- and constrain the union's 
ability to move to a more centrist policy. 
STEPHENS