Moon vows to reinstate laborers as partners in shaping govt. policies

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 24, 2017 - 19:59
  • Updated : Oct 24, 2017 - 19:59
President Moon Jae-in promised Tuesday to actively involve laborers and their representatives in discussions on major government policies, calling them an important partner in state affairs.

"I believe it is our urgent task to restore the relationship between the government and the labor sector as partners before we say how the new government will come up with its labor policies," he said while meeting with the top leaders of major labor unions.

He noted over the past decade or so, the working class have been neglected and excluded from state affairs and labor policies were unilaterally pushed by the government.

"As a result, labor unions shrank in size and number while the quality of each and every laborer's lives worsened," the president said, according to pool reports.

The meeting marked the first of its kind since Moon took office in May. But it followed the president's meeting with top business leaders in July.

The president said the new government will continue to correct what he referred to as one-sided labor policies under former administrations.

However, he noted the government alone can only do so much.

"I may not be able to fulfill all my pledges, but I plan to do as much as I can. However, the president or the government alone cannot build a nation that deserves to be called a nation. It will only be possible when the people will join their efforts, and I believe we will achieve a lot more if the people are with us," he said.

The meeting involved the top leaders of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, the largest umbrella labor organization here.

Initially, the leaders of the smaller but more progressive Korean Confederation of Trade Unions were also expected to attend the meeting. But the KCTU and its affiliated unions boycotted the meeting, citing its earlier demand to include representatives from all KCTU members for the dinner meeting.

President Moon expressed regrets over KCTU's boycott.

He stressed the need for the government and laborers to work together.

"Building a nation where labor is respected cannot be done with only the will of the president or the government. It can only be done when the labor circles help, and we may achieve so much more when the laborers are with us as well," the president said. (Yonhap)