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[Newsmaker] Representatives of militant labor group to step down from minimum wage panel

A major umbrella labor union group said Monday its representatives will resign from the minimum wage panel in protest of last week's decision to hike the wage by the slowest pace in a decade.

The Minimum Wage Commission, involving labor and business representatives and experts, set the minimum wage at 8,590 won ($7.32) per hour for next year Friday, up 2.9 percent from this year.


The decision was a far cry from an initial demand of 10,000 won by the labor sector, a level that President Moon Jae-in vowed to attain by 2020.

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, a militant labor group, said it will withdraw its four members from the wage panel and called on all experts to step down as well.

"Our action attested to the protest against the unfairness (in setting the minimum wage) and also stringent self-reflection and heavy responsibility (for the decision)," the KCTU told a press briefing.

"Nine experts who wrongfully led the wage discussions should also resign," the group said.

The council consists of 27 representatives, nine each from the labor, business and public sectors. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions, another umbrella labor group, has five panel members.

The labor sector angrily reacted to the 2020 wage decision, claiming that a failure to keep Moon's promise means the government has ditched its income-driven growth policy.

Moon offered a public apology Sunday for an apparent failure to keep his campaign pledge over the minimum wage. (Yonhap)