Park urges labor-management compromise amid looming strike

By 정주원
  • Published : Sept 1, 2014 - 17:36
  • Updated : Sept 1, 2014 - 17:36
President Park Geun-hye called Monday for a compromise between labor and management to try to find a way that benefits the two sides amid a looming strike that could disrupt South Korea's financial sector.

She warned that all South Koreans will stand to lose unless strife between labor and management and the inefficiency of labor markets are urgently addressed.

"It's time for our labor and management to find a way for mutual benefits through dialogue and compromise ... instead of seeking immediate gains," Park said in a meeting with dozens of officials in a tripartite committee.

She also expressed hope that labor and management can find a way for mutual benefits to give a much-needed boost to Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The committee is a presidential advisory body meant to promote discussions and build consensus among labor, management and the government.

The union that represents the interests of financial workers vowed to go on strike Wednesday to protest what it called government interference in the local finance sector.

Lee Ji-seop, an official of Korea Financial Industry Union, said some 65,000 out of about 100,000 union members will stage the one-day strike as planned unless their demands are met.

Union leader Kim Moo-ho met with Park in a tripartite committee and called for the government's efforts to resolve pending issues in the local financial sector, according to the union.

Senior presidential and government officials called for joint efforts with the union to address problems in the financial sector, according to the union.

Still, it remains unclear whether Park's meeting with union officials will help avert this week's planned strike.

The union has said it plans to address several issues during the strike, such as the government's push to slim down benefits at state-run financial firms and the appointment of high-ranking government officials to run such state-run financial firms.

Also Monday, Park's office renewed its calls for the parliamentary passage of a set of bills meant to revitalize the economy.

An Chong-bum, presidential secretary for economic affairs, said the passage of the bills is "urgently needed" for economic recovery.

His comments came as there was no end in sight to weeks of political standoff between the rival parties over a bill aimed at uncovering the truth behind April's deadly ferry sinking.

The opposition party has boycotted the passage of all other bills until after the ferry bill is endorsed by the parliament.

A key bone of contention in the bill is whether a proposed committee for an independent probe into the disaster should be given the right to investigate and indict those responsible for the tragedy, a demand of the victims' families.

The ruling party has rejected the call on the grounds that it could undermine the judicial system. (Yonhap)