KHMU President calls for sector-wide collective bargaining in care sector
President of UNICARE’s Korean affiliate KHMU says collective bargaining only way forward on decent work
UNICARE affiliate KHMU President Yoo Ji-hyun said collective bargaining was central to the future of the care sector.
Speaking at the recent ILO tripartite meeting on healthcare, Sister Yoo said “All countries should have collective bargaining on national level to improve the working conditions and the quality of care.”
Sister Yoo said that collective bargaining was the only way to strengthen sustainable salaries, working conditions and training of all care workers. However anti-union behaviour is still a major problem in Korea. Several Long-Term Care centres were shut down after KHMU unionized them.
The Korean government in the past has been openly hostile against the Korean union movement and undermined social dialogue. Sister Yoo explained, “In Korea, unions and employers jointly agreed that we need to build a sectoral tripartite commission on the health care industry. However, due to the government’s inactive attitude during the conservative government, there was no real progress in social dialogue over the last 9 years.”
UNICARE is strongly supporting the demand for sectoral wide national bargaining in the care sector. In addition, UNICARE supports the organizing work of KHMU which is growing its membership. Sister Yoo says the winds of political change are blowing strongly through the country too.
“Just one week ago, we held a special forum to invite the Presidential Candidates in Korea with the participation of 300 people from employers’ association, NGOs, unions and government officials to discuss the health care workforce shortage problem. At this meeting, we proposed a grand social compromise for new job creation in the health care industry. All parties unanimously agreed that we need a sectoral tripartite dialogue to solve the workforce shortage and Job Creation Revolution (500,000 jobs), so called, “Health Care Revolution,” Sister Yoo concluded.