The former Park Geun-hye administration exerted illegal pressure on labor organizations and covertly inspected civilians while enforcing its controversial labor policies, an inquiry panel said Wednesday.
The employment and labor administration reform committee, under the labor ministry, announced the outcome of its months-long probe into the ousted government's so-called labor reform measures.
The committee looked into some 5,000 documents drawn up by the Labor Market Reform Situation Room from 2015-16 and investigated 21 related officials.
The organization was set up under the vice labor minister in August 2015 to promote the government's labor policies among the public.
But the panel found that it was actually controlled by then-chief presidential labor secretary Kim Hyon-sook.
The panel said Kim ordered the mobilization of conservative activists to hold news conferences to criticize opposition parties and labor unions. It amounts to abuse of power and violation of the public servants' law, the committee said.
The probe also found that Lee Byung-kee, then-presidential chief of staff, attempted to pressure the Federation of Korean Trade Unions to return to a presidential consultation committee on labor policies by cutting off government subsidies after the nation's largest union umbrella group quit the panel.
The National Intelligence Service was also found to have demanded information on the employment insurance of 592 civilians and 303 businesses from 2008-2013, according to the committee.
The committee expressed regret over the improper operation of the situation room and advised Labor Minister Kim Young-joo to request an prosecution investigation into Kim and Lee.(Yonhap)