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Civil servants allowed limited union

South Korean civil servants will be given a union of sorts. According to Park Myung-jae of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, the government has confirmed its stance to allow a “partial” union, one in which its members can only engage in collective bargaining on pay and work conditions. As for the right to strikes and negotiations on local or central appointments, policy decisions, or allocation of budgets, the government says ‘no.’ It will not negotiate with any union containing the word “labor” in its name. In a draft bill to establish a civil service union, the government stipulated that the union would have no right to either join the country’s umbrella unions or engage in sympathy actions with them or other work organizations. Admittance into the union is limited; while close to 280,000 civil servants at the grade 6 level would be eligible to join, all those involved in public order, security management, and operations would not be eligible.

The union will be effective beginning in January 2006, six years after The Assembly passes the bill. Civil service union organizers have found this draft bill unacceptable, and plan to appeal by means of a strike.

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