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President Moon to meet labor leaders over his new policies

President Moon Jae-in was set to hold a special meeting Tuesday with leaders of the country's top labor organizations over his new economic and labor policies.

The meeting will be held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

It was initially expected to involve officials from the country's two largest umbrella labor organizations -- the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions -- as well as several sectored and independent labor unions, but the KCTU has said it will boycott the meeting.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

KCTU officials cited the need to invite all sectored unions of their organizations to the meeting with the president.

Cheong Wa Dae officials said they will continue to encourage KCTU and its affiliated labor unions to take part in the dinner meeting, but that the meeting will be held as scheduled even in their absence.

"Even if KCTU representatives boycott, today's event will be held as planned with labor leaders who continue their efforts in the field to help improve the working conditions of laborers and allow our society to take a step forward," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun said in a released statement.

He again appealed to KCTU leaders to join.

"We hope the KCTU will take part, considering the people's wish to see more jobs and normalization of labor-management relations," Park said.

Tuesday's meeting follows the president's meeting with top business leaders in July.

The meeting was expected to provide the president a chance to learn what laborers thought about his key economic policies that include reducing overall work hours to help create more jobs, while boosting the average income of the workers.

The president has vowed to create at least 810,000 new jobs in the public sector during his five-year term, which will end in 2020. He is also moving to raise the minimum wage to 10,000 won ($8.86) per hour from the current 6,470 won per hour.

"The president will mostly listen to what the labor leaders have to say," a Cheong Wa Dae official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The dinner, involving all participants, will begin at 6:30 p.m., following a 45-minute discussion that was originally scheduled to involve the president and the top leaders of the two umbrella labor organizations.

Should the KCTU decided to boycott the event, the preceding discussion session will only involve three top officials from the FKTU, Cheong Wa Dae said. (Yonhap)

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