On trade unions ...
Korea’s constitution in Article 7, section 1, states that workers have the right to organize, bargain collectively and collective action for their working conditions.
That is, three powers of labor workers can enjoy basically.
Before trade unions, the owner of the company determined all things such as promotion, wage, retirement and so on.
Under these conditions, the workers had no option and worked as the owner ordered. If a worker got hurt while working, medical expenses were paid by him or herself.
But how are conditions now? By negotiating with the owner through this trade union, workers are able to demand a raise in salary, better working conditions and even go so far as to be involved in management.
Seeing this, can you say, “Korea’s trade unions too powerful?” If it had not been for trade unions, our fathers and mothers would be working in poor conditions now.
Workers in trade unions also represent not only for own interest, but also public interests. This is why if a public union, such as a hospital union, subway union or public official union, calls a strike, the damage done to the public is enormous. Imagine a doctor who said, “Due to a strike, we don’t provide treatment” in front of man dying of a heart attack.
― So Kyung-suu, Seoul
I’ve worked at container ship owner’s company in Busan near by piers. So almost everyday on my way to work, I could see many of them working. It’s very controversial and it’s more related to a political issue, but in my opinion the government should listen carefully to what they really want rather than oppress them.
― Oh Eun-joo, New York