The difference of opinion between labor and management has not narrowed over the discussion of resetting the working hour exemption (time-off) limit. In the future, it is expected that the role of public interest members will increase in the discussion of the Working Hours Exemption Deliberation Committee.
The Working Hours Exemption Deliberation Committee held its 14th plenary meeting on the 18th at the meeting room of the Economic, Social and Labor Committee in Jongno-gu, Seoul and continued to discuss the time-off limit. On the 11th, all the demands of labor and management were submitted and it was expected that the discussion would speed up, but the meeting on this day was frustrating.
Labor and management have submitted an initial request that is 180 degrees different. The Federation of Trade Unions is demanding a plan to reduce the current time-off limit, which is divided into 10 sections by business size, to 5 sections, and to impose additional limits on upper-level group activities and shift system workplaces. The business community, who received such a request, belatedly presented a request to maintain the section but reduce the time-off limit for large business establishments and reduce the limit for organizations affiliated with industrial unions.
At the meeting, it was reported that the Korean Federation of Trade Unions took the position that it was possible to amend the request. The purpose is to narrow the issues so that negotiations can progress. The business community adhered to the initial proposal. A member of the public interest committee, who was watching, came forward. It was suggested that the 10 sections of the time-off limit be left untouched, and that the discussion should focus on issues such as weighting in the activities of upper-level groups.
There is not much time left for the Working Hours Exemption Deliberation Committee. The three scheduled meetings are on the 21st, 25th and 28th. The resolution must be made on the 3rd of the following month, immediately after the end of the Lunar New Year holiday.
It is highly likely that the next meeting will be led by a public interest committee member. The discussion on the time-off limit twice in 2010 and 2013 was also led by a public interest committee member in the absence of a labor-management agreement.