The Korea Herald


Yoon vows to root out unfair employment succession

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : April 18, 2023 - 15:13

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol has made a firm commitment to eliminate unfair employment succession practices, condemning them as against the spirit of the Constitution and as depriving future generations of opportunities.

The elimination of employment succession at industrial sites is considered one of the key tasks of labor reform for Yoon. The goal is in line with his broader efforts to strengthen transparency in union accounting and enforce strict measures against violent acts.

During a livestreamed Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, Yoon spoke out against the provision in collective agreements of some domestic companies that allow the hiring of employees' children. He described the practice as "very wrong.”

"I have always stressed that the first thing about labor reform is the establishment of labor-management law," he said, urging officials to do their best to break down the hereditary succession of vested interests that violate the Constitution.

In keeping with the president's commitment to eliminate unfair employment succession practices, the Labor Ministry has for the first time initiated judicial action against Kia and its labor union for maintaining an "employment succession" clause in their collective agreement that prioritizes the hiring of children of union members over other candidates.

According to the Labor Ministry, the Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, branch of the ministry took action against some members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Kia and its CEO on April 7.

The clause in question is the first provision of Article 26 of Kia's labor-management collective agreement, which stipulates that priority in hiring should be given to children of family members who died of illnesses while employed, as well as retirees and long-term employees who have worked for more than 25 years.

Last year in August, the Labor Ministry took corrective action against 63 companies that had provisions in their collective agreements for hiring the children of retirees, long-term workers and family members.

Kia ignored the administrative guidance and signed the agreement last year without revising the provisions. In response, the Labor Ministry issued a correction order in November of the same year, urging the company to eliminate the problematic clause.