New paradigm for labor relations shall be established with launch of the new administration -
Jooil Lee (Director, Labor Relations Policy Team, Ministry of Labor)
Korean labor relations underwent structural as well as qualitative changes through democratization (1987) and the 1997 Asian financial crisis, etc. With the inauguration of the new administration in 2008, it is time to take advantage of the new year as a turning point for labor relations, and come up with a new paradigm of labor relations based upon outcomes and reflections of the past years.
Recent labor relations at the workplace are on a path toward stabilization, according to various indicators, namely the number of labor disputes and lost-working days due to disputes. Also, Korean labor laws and institutions are now comparable to international standards thanks to the successful legislation of labor relations advancement.
Therefore, the new administration should be the guidepost of establishing a new paradigm in labor relations to break off the past 20-year relation of conflict and confrontation and advance towards trust and cooperation, thereby meeting international standards in labor relations.