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Employment relations in Asian countries

Industrial labor employment relations

While there are several factors which impact and influence the changes in employment and labor relations in the Asian countries, two factors are of crucial importance.
The first factor is the need of the Asian nations to work upon the inconsistencies which occur in the existing employment relations and the new trade and industry order of the globalized and industrialized world (Kim, 2006). The second factor is the altering relations between the players of employment relations due to the new political orders of new democratized nations and the consequent evolution to market economies (Kim and Kim, 2003).


Korea experienced rapid economic expansion during the 1960s and 1970s, and has faced severe problems and issues with regard to labor and employment relations, following the financial crisis of 1997-98. Although the government initially suppressed the labor movements in the country, some legal rights have been granted to labor unions, with several restrictions (Kim, 2006). The Federation of Korean Unions came to be accepted and recognized as the legal union federation at the national level, the powers of which were not greater than the government itself.  in the years of turmoil that followed, several issues and problems surfaced due to the rise in labor memberships, which ultimately resulted in numerous strikes all across the country with “3749 strikes’ taking place in the year 1987, which was an “thirteen fold escalation over the pervious year” (Kim, 2006).  Unlike the Singapore government, the Korean government failed to come to the aid of the employees who were severely affected with the layoffs in the industries which consequently lead to the growth and formation of many more labor unions across the nation. Despite the several industry based unions, there is failure to conduct bargains ate the industrial levels especially in industries such as the metal and healthcare industries. It is apparent that the government initially had control of the trade unions with only one and later two legalized. However, the failure of these unions to substantially help the employees and the labor force in difficult times, led to the formations of more unions and ultimately more problems in the form of unavoidable layoffs and strikes, which were obviously not in favor of the labor workforce of Korea. Strikes have been a notable and increasing feature in the Korean economy, which have augmented substantially since the Asian economic crisis of 1997-98. However, the turmoil resulted in the formation of the Tripartite Commission by the labor unions, employers and the government, with each party functioning autonomously, which has ultimately led to the augmented legalization of labor rights for union members who accept immediate layoffs due to redundancy (Kim and Bae, 2004).

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