UNI GS, Christy Hoffman urges government of Korea to ratify ILO Conventions 87 & 98 , ahead of mass rally
In a letter to the Korea Mission in Geneva, UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman has called on the Korean government to immediately ratify core ILO Conventions 87 and 98 which recognise freedom of association, the right to organise and collective bargaining.
Hoffman sent the demand ahead of a mass rally of unions and civil society in support of ratifying the two critical workers’ rights measures, planned for 13th April in Seoul.
The UNI GS wrote, “2019 is the centenary of the ILO and on this occasion all the social partners of the ILO, governments, workers and employers should undertake special initiatives to honour the achievements since the 1944 Philadelphia Declaration and promote its core message that labour is not a commodity and that workers must enjoy freedom of association and collective bargaining.
“In the age of digitalization and global economic uncertainty and changes, UNI, together with the Korean unions call on the Korean government to demonstrate its commitment to the ILO and its basic principles and standards, by ratifying ILO Labour Conventions 87 and 98, without further delay.”
Hoffman also called on the government to guarantee the rights and conditions of workers in the informal economy such as platform workers, self-employed, freelancers, non-regular and contract workers. These workers now make up 10% of Korea’s workforce, growing from just over 1 million to more than 2 million, in the last seven years. The UNI GS said that the recent ILO Future of Work Commission report explicitly stated that “whether a person is an employee, an agency worker or a contractor should make no difference to their entitlement of labour law protection.” Hoffman said the government of Korea, by ratifying ILO Conventions 87 and 98, would be fulfilling their manifesto pledge to respect labour rights and democracy.
In Korea, around 300,000 union members belonging to six union federations of FKTU (Federation of Korean Trade Unions) and KCTU (Korea Confederation of Trade Unions) are affiliated to UNI Global Union.