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Third labor group to launch next month

A third umbrella labor group is to launch next month, with nearly 70 trade unions and 30,000 workers as its members, a union activist leading the move said Tuesday.

“We plan to hold an inaugural meeting early next month and submit the necessary documents to register with the Labor Ministry,” said Jeong Yeon-soo who leads the preparatory committee for the envisioned labor group.

Currently, Korea’s labor movement is dominated by two umbrella organizations ― the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the smaller Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Both have been criticized for often engaging in politicized rallies rather than efforts for actual labor rights.

The new group will strive to break away from the country’s militant labor movement history, taking more pragmatic views on labor issues and committing to delivering more benefits to workers.

Currently, some 70 unions, including a union of provincial government workers and a teachers’ union, have pledged to join the new umbrella body.

Jeong expects the membership to increase once he officially hoists the flag for the new group.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)
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