Moon calls on new labor council to lead way to ‘inclusive society’

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Nov 22, 2018 - 17:45
  • Updated : Nov 22, 2018 - 17:45

President Moon Jae-in on Thursday called for compromise and negotiations among economic entities, saying that their cooperation is key to creating an “inclusive society.”

Speaking at the first meeting of the Economy, Social and Labor Council, launched Thursday, Moon said that cooperation and agreement among economic entities are at the center of labor and industrial issues, as well as other social issues such as economic polarization and the nation’s low birthrate. 

President Moon Jae-in addresses the Economy, Social and Labor Council at the presidential office on Thursday. Yonhap

“We are now bringing about fundamental changes to socioeconomic structure to create an inclusive nation,” Moon said. The concept of an inclusive nation was put forth earlier this year by the Moon Jae-in administration as an economic model that builds on its earlier policy goal of income-driven growth.

Saying that his administration’s goals cannot be achieved by the government alone, Moon called for corporate, labor, and social organizations to work together to reach a social consensus.

“Ours is not a relationship of confrontation but of cooperation. The government, labor and corporate communities must cooperate to build an inclusive nation in which (economic) polarization and employment issues are resolved,” Moon said, stressing that he considers corporate and labor organizations as “partners of state affairs.”

Moon went on to say that the Economy, Social and Labor Council must play a central role in resolving related issues, and stressed that the government’s role will be limited to that of mediator in the council’s discussions.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon said that he will do all he can to implement recommendations by the council, saying that he intends to treat the council as a “decision-making body” rather than simply an advisory body. The presidential office also quoted Moon as saying that he will work with the National Assembly to enable the council’s conclusion on the flexible work hour system to be reflected in the parliament’s decisions.

The Economy, Social and Labor Council was formed earlier this year by renaming the Economic and Social Development Commission, which was established in 1998.

The new council, officially launched Thursday, comprises five labor representatives, including the chiefs of the two-largest umbrella unions, five individuals representing management, the minister of economy and finance and minister of employment and labor.

The umbrella unions are the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, whose representative did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

Those representing employers include the heads of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Korea Employers Federation.

The council also includes four individuals selected from the fields of law, media, research and gender equality.

At Thursday’s meeting, the council approved a motion to maintain six committees operated by the Economic and Social Development Commission, and plans for launching a new committee dealing with working hours.

The existing committees taken on by the council include those dealing with improving labor-management relations, industrial safety, and the finance industry.

By Choi He-suk (