Korea ranks one of lowest in cooperation in labor-employer relations

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 24, 2017 - 15:40
  • Updated : Sept 24, 2017 - 15:40
South Korea has one of the lowest levels of cooperative relations between labor and employer, the country's central bank said Sunday.

South Korea's global competitive index in cooperation in labor-employer relations came to 3.4 in 2016, placing Seoul 135th out of the 138 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum, according to the Bank of Korea.

South Korea's militant labor groups have a track record of staging protest rallies, which sometime turn violent as some protesters brandish metal pipes and police fire water cannons at them.

In 2015, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Seoul to protest the government's decision to push forward labor market reforms.
The Bank of Korea headquarters in central Seoul (Yonhap)

The BOK said in a report that South Korea should take a cue from Germany in improving relations between labor and management.

Germany has a tradition of cutting working hours through negotiations between labor and management rather than pursuing layoffs in times of an economic slowdown. The shorter working hours are credited for stabilizing labor markets in Germany following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Germany's global competitive index in cooperation in labor-employer relations came to 5.1 in 2016, placing it 25th out of 138 countries surveyed by the global forum.

The BOK said South Korea should monitor Germany's response to improving its labor markets and consider applying German measures in South Korea, noting Seoul and Berlin have similar economic structures, in which exports and the manufacturing sector play a key role. (Yonhap)