S Korea's Lee urges stable labor-management relations

12:46, May 30, 2011      

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday voiced opposition to what he views as "unlawful" strikes, calling for more harmonious labor-management relations.

Criticizing a recent strike at Yoosung Enterprise, a local auto parts maker, for having threatened to paralyze the entire auto industry, the president, an ex-CEO, said in a biweekly radio speech that such "illegal" strikes will "never be tolerated."

The government will "sternly" deal with unjustifiable strikes" as well as unjust business practices that infringe on the rights and interests of workers," the president said.

The International Institute for Management Development of Switzerland ranked South Korea 53rd among 59 countries in labor- management competitiveness, Lee said, pointing out confrontational labor-management relations have driven away foreign investors.

"If labor-management relations pursuing mutual benefits take firm root, it would improve productivity and help revitalize investments by domestic businesses, even if labor costs remain somewhat high," Lee said in the address.

On its part, the government will strive to improve life of workers along with corporate growth, the president said.

"We have to establish a win-win economic structure where collaboration between labor and management leads to an increase in productivity, which, in turn, encourages increased investments that create more jobs," Lee said. "The government will make sure that laws and principles will be impartially applied to labor and management while respecting their autonomy as much as possible."

Source: Xinhua
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