South Korea must honour commitment to workers’ rights

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has been following - with growing concern and frustration - discussions in South Korea about the ratification and full implementation of fundamental UN ILO Conventions, notably Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Convention 98 on Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, which the South Korean government committed to in the 2011 EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The ETUC regrets that no substantial progress has been made by the South Korean government to ratify these conventions and that the Korea Employers Federation (KEF) puts pressure on the Government not to ratify them.

The ETUC calls on the European Commission to move to the next stage of the dispute settlement procedure to enable a panel of experts to be set up. Trade agreements will work for workers only if labour rights are respected!  

“The European Commission must insist that the South Korean implements its long-standing commitment to the EU to ratify and implement basic workers’ rights” said Liina Carr, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “I cannot imagine the EU waiting so long and patiently for EU investors rights to be respected.”