[이수진 더불어민주당 의원] “Expand the employment law for workplaces with fewer than 5 employees, we will definitely do it”

▲ Reporter Jeong Ki-hoon

During the year-end and New Year holidays, the Environment and Labor Committee of the National Assembly is hot every day. After five rounds of discussion from the 16th of last month to the 4th of this month, a bill to introduce a working hour exemption (time-off) system for public officials and teachers passed the Employment and Labor Bill Review Subcommittee. The amendment to the Act on the Promotion of Worker Participation and Cooperation (the Worker Participation Act), which directly, secretly, and anonymously elects workers’ representatives from the labor-management council applied to companies with more than 30 employees, was also voted on. It barely passed the second lieutenant, but the Plenary Meeting of the Labor Relations Committee is not news. Members of the Democratic Party of Korea are holding a press conference, urging the people to hold a plenary session with the power of the people. There are rumors that Park Dae-jae, chairman of the labor union, has no intention of holding a plenary meeting.

In fact, in the process of the bill review subcommittee, the Hwan and Labor Committee received a lot of criticism. Due to wasting time passing the law to apply the time-off for civil servants and teachers, discussions on the amendment to the Labor Relations Act related to the expansion of workplaces with fewer than five employees and the improvement of the worker representation system and a bill to guarantee the employment of workers during business relocation were delayed. reported on the 3rd that Lee Soo-jin (52,Photo) I met a member of the Democratic Party of Korea at the National Assembly Hall to hear about the recent situation and prospects of the Labor Relations Committee. Rep. Lee was elected as the proportional representative of the 21st National Assembly after being chaired by the National Labor Relations Committee of the Democratic Party of Korea and the chairperson of the National Medical Association.

“We need lawmakers with strong ‘combat power’ for the labor union”

– Too much time was spent on the bill to introduce time-off for civil servants and teachers. There was not even a discussion about the extension of the employment law to workplaces with less than 5 employees, who are interested in them. There is also an argument that the opposition and opposition parties deliberately take the time to avoid discussions.
“When the time-off was introduced, the cost estimate suddenly became an issue, and the discussion was twisted. I thought it would pass easily, but it wasn’t because both presidential candidates agreed that it should pass. The argument for revisiting the cost estimate data brought by the Ministry of Employment and Labor was repeated after adjournment, and after the secretaries of the ruling and opposition parties and the government reviewed it. How do you set the time-off in advance when the cost estimate changes depending on how the Working Hours Exemption Deliberation Committee decides on the time-off? I think it can be seen as a delay in time. In some cases, opposition lawmakers left without even having a meeting after adjournment. It is disrespectful behavior. We continued the discussion, thinking that it would be difficult to pass the plenary session if we do not reach an agreement. As the plenary session drew closer and time was running out, we tried to push through the fifth discussion alone.”

There are proposed amendments to the Labor Law to expand the scope of application to workplaces with fewer than five employees in the bill review subcommittee. Rep. Lee Su-jin proposed an amendment to apply the regulations set by the Presidential Decree, such as workplace harassment, restrictions on dismissal, application for remedy for unfair dismissal, and restrictions on overtime work, to workplaces with fewer than five employees. It is a gradual expansion plan. Labor circles and civil society are urging the Justice Party lawmaker Kang Eun-mi to apply all provisions of the Labor Relations Act to all workplaces.

– Initiated a plan for the gradual expansion of employment laws to workplaces with fewer than 5 employees. There is a difference between the claims of labor and civil society.
“I agree with the direction advocated by the Justice Party and civic groups. Isn’t the Basic Law for All Working Citizens also the direction of the Labor Policy of the Democratic Party of Korea? However, there are many objections to the amendment to the Labor Relations Act. There are many voices telling us not to even discuss it. As the proposal went up to the second lieutenant, picketing and protest visits from small business owners and self-employed people followed in all the members’ offices. If there is strong resistance in various areas, it is difficult to pass. It may take as little as 6-7 months or as long as several years or more for the bill to pass. It is easy to get tired, and social change is quick. It is a necessary law in a transitional period of change. It is correct to expand step by step. I say that it is a must, and will definitely do it for workplaces with fewer than 5 employees.”

Rep. Lee Su-jin, speaking about her experience in the past, said, “I hope that lawmakers with strong fighting power will come because conflicts are acute in the process of passing the bill.”

“I hear a lot of opinions about why they keep trying to protect workers by enacting new laws outside of the Labor Law. That was the case with the Housework Workers Act, which I proposed and passed, and the Platform Workers Protection Act proposed by Rep. Jang Cheol-min and supplemented by me. The Platform Workers Protection Act was not passed due to many differences of opinion, but the Domestic Workers Act was passed because the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the employer’s side, did not object, saying that it meant opening a new business. However, it was difficult to pass even the Domestic Workers Act, where there was no big difference. I fought a lot (with the opposition). I cried because I was sad, angry, and proud of myself. I comforted the workers by saying they would pass soon, but only when the workers got angry did the opposition start a conversation. In fact, due to the nature of the Labor Relations Committee, the less meetings are held, the more favorable the opposition. I don’t want this to happen again. In the future, many people with strong ‘combat power’ should come to our affair.”

“Recognition of broadcast writers as workers,
Recognition of ‘broadcast writer = worker’

Rep. Lee Su-jin emphasizes not only legislation but also ‘the field’. This is the reason why we have recently focused on the issue of workers’ rights for broadcast writers. The issue of broadcasting writers was raised at the first national audit of the 21st National Assembly in 2020, and it was raised again in the national audit last year.

– Broadcast writers have consistently raised the issue of workers’ rights. Is there a reason that led you to engage in activities related to workers’ rights as a broadcast writer?
“It stems from interest in unequal labor, such as the gap between women and non-regular workers. As female workers, they were powerless and ‘white’, and they were unable to organize outside of people’s attention. Broadcast writers are mainly young female non-regular workers. When you go to a broadcasting station, the person who calls you, the person who meets you, the person who offers coffee, the person who guides you, and the person who greets you when you leave are all broadcast writers. work like an employee No one paid attention to their voices. There were no reporters at the press conference claiming workers’ rights. The media union was not paying attention to the non-regular workers in the workplace.”

– As a result of the Ministry of Labor’s Special Labor Supervision, the three terrestrial broadcasters have been partially recognized for the Ministry of Labor and Employment. What does it mean?
“It opened the door to the perception that broadcast writers should be viewed as workers. Broadcasting stations have an obligation to treat broadcasters who have been recognized as workers as workers. The Ministry of Labor found that the three broadcasting companies had violated Article 17 of the Labor and Employment Act, which required specifying working conditions, and issued a corrective order to conclude an employment contract. Not only the three broadcasting companies, but also other broadcasting companies and other broadcasting writers will recognize themselves as workers. Some people did not respond properly because they feared that the company would be disadvantaged or that there would be no change. Their perception will change.”

– Last month, three MBC reporters were fired due to the expiration of their contracts. This is because MBC notified that the contract could not be renewed prior to the announcement of the results of the labor inspection by the Ministry of Labor. NGOs are arguing that the Ministry of Labor should be held accountable.
“There is no remedy under the current law. You have to go to the Labor Relations Commission without any reason. It would have been nice if the Ministry of Labor had cleaned up the situation, but it’s a pity. It is not easy for an individual worker to quarrel with a broadcasting company. You need support, attention and support from those around you. I also shared an article related to the Democratic Party of Korea. We asked the members of the National Assembly Science, Technology, Information, Broadcasting and Communication Committee and the Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee to show interest and support so that broadcasting stations can fulfill their duties. Regular workers in broadcasting stations should also help, and the Ministry of Labor should also be interested.”

“Together with the Democratic Party’s labor pledge, announced in mid-to-late January”

– Lee Jae-myung serves as the co-chairman of the Labor Relations Commission in the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination committee. Are there any promises that are being prepared for presentation at the Labor Relations Commission?
“The big direction is to protect everyone who works. A fair wage that pays a certain portion of the wages to non-regular workers, the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to reduce industrial accidents, and the sharing of labor supervision rights monopolized by the Ministry of Labor with local governments will be presented as promises. Although there are differences of opinion between the four-day work week and the extension of the retirement age, I think it is a topic that needs to be discussed in the long term. The detailed policy has been coordinated and the timing of the announcement is being reviewed. I think we should set a date and announce it in mid-to-late January.”

Reference-www.labortoday.co.kr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.