Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-sup awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the 2020 Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) Gwangju Region Delegate Convention held at the FKTU’s Gwangju office in Im-dong (16 January 2020).
| Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-sup appeals to regional Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) representatives to participate in Gwangju-type job agenda
| Agenda will be a driver for the present and future of the young generation and Korean economy
| Job agenda and relevant municipal administration revised to incorporate labor community opinions
Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-sup appealed to the labor unions to cooperate in the Gwangju-type job agenda in order to keep the project on track. Gwangju residents selected the job agenda as one of the city’s primary projects in 2020.
Mayor Lee attended the 2020 FKTU Gwangju Region Delegate Convention on 16 January 2020 and conveyed the message from the Gwangju municipal government to the labor unions: “Cooperate with the Gwangju-type job agenda, as its success will create quality jobs for the young generation and a better future for the Korean economy.”
Mayor Lee also announced: “The ceremony of investment agreement with Hyundai Motors was held on 31 January 2019, and attended by President Moon Jae-in. We were united under the strong will of chairperson Yoon Jong-hae. ‘History does not simply move on as time goes by.’ It was a historic day for the Gwangju-type job agenda, which is a globally unprecedented project aiming to trailblaze a new chapter of social integration based on local government-led labor-management cooperation.”
He continued: “And now, an automobile manufacturing facility is under construction in Gwangju, the first in 23 years. It is the fruitful result in fulfilling the responsibilities of the time in order to solve the problem of youth unemployment, present an entirely new standard to the Korean economy, and open a new horizon for the nation’s future.”
According to the Gwangju City Government, the labor unions refused to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Gwangju Global Motors automobile plant, held on 26 December 2019. It has become a source of concern not only for Gwangju citizens, but people nationwide worried about the future of the automobile factory based on the Gwangju job agenda. Furthermore, the labor unions’ absence has caused concern among the stockholders who agreed with the Gwangju-type job principles and invested 230 billion KRW, as well as young people waiting for the realization of the Gwangju-type job agenda in workplaces.
Mayor Lee displayed a strong desire to achieve their goal, adding: “We have overcome difficulties and uncertainties and reached this point by listening to each other in trust, making concessions, and furthering our understanding. I believe that we should continue to take the approach to pursue our aim. I have never doubted the partnership with the labor union for mutual benefit and prosperity.”
He also stressed the necessity of integrated efforts: “From the Mayor, we will humbly listen to the voices of the labor communities with due respect. To facilitate solidarity and communication and prepare the basis for cooperation in close ties with the labor force, the city government will renovate the system and incorporate their opinions into the Gwangju-type job agenda and municipal administration. History will appreciate the devoted commitment of the labor community.” Public attention is on the possible recovery of the relationship with the labor union, which has turned its back on Gwangju Global Motors.
Mayor Lee called for cooperation, emphasizing: “Without cooperation between the management and labor force, we cannot guarantee jobs for the young generation or a bright future for the Korean economy. We should share the burden of our time.”
Gwangju municipal government believes that the Gwangju-type job agenda can get back on track through the participation of the labor unions, since the agenda was initially established through a process of agreement and concessions between the management, labor unions, and government. The Gwangju-type job agenda is expected to play an important role in tackling unemployment among the young and provide completely new perspectives for the Korean economy in the long run.