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Controversies between DP and PPP around the “Yellow Envelope Bill” Get Worse
Press Conference for the “Yellow Envelope Bill” (news.kbs.co.kr)

The controversy around the new revision of the “Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act,” which restricts corporations’ damage lawsuits against labor unions, has been ongoing. The law was proposed on September 15th as the so-called “Yellow Envelope Bill.” The name comes from the yellow envelopes, in which contributions are often delivered. The law aims to help union members of SsangYong Motors pay the ₩4.7 billion charged to them due to damages from the strike back in 2014. If the new bill is enforced, subcontractors and platform workers can directly negotiate with the firms. Also, the firms cannot demand damage lawsuits or provisional seizures except for damages due to violence or destructive strikes. The ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the opposition Democratic Party (DP) previously disputed the bill; the PPP and business communities insisted that the law invades the corporate’s property rights and gives immunity to illegal strikes by unions. Lim Yi-ja, a member of the PPP, criticized the legitimacy of the law by saying, “If the union strikes with proper procedures, purposes, and measures, then legal responsibilities are exempted by the current labor law.” However, the DP, which prioritized and proposed the bill, emphasized that the antiquated existing laws do not reflect the worker’s rights. Oh Young-hwan, the spokesperson of the DP, said that the new bill is to “change the labor environment where excessive damage lawsuits suppress the workers’ rights”; as such, illegal strikes on labor unions without conditions are still prohibited.

홍성광  gsh06063@g.skku.edu

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