[SEOUL] South Korea's government said on Friday it would push to revise key labour laws despite opposition from labour unions, hours after a government-set deadline for a compromise passed.
The finance, labour and industry ministers said in a joint statement that a government-initiated drive to make the labour market more flexible should be implemented quickly to ease high youth unemployment and revive the economy. "What the labour unions and management need to do at this moment is make a bold decision to drop some of their vested interests for the higher cause of job creation for youths," the three ministers said in a joint statement.
The government had asked a permanent committee between the government, labour unions and business associations to reach an agreement by the end of Thursday on how to soften regulations on hiring and firing, work hours and wage system.
The government wants to revise at least five labour-related laws this year to implement reform measures, but labour unions and the opposition party have opposed most of the government proposals.
The ruling Saenuri Party holds 53 per cent of the seats at the single-chamber parliament and has the majority power to pass the proposed revisions, although the opposition parties can still influence the procedure before a final vote.