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Labor leader to meet Seoul mayor, discuss universal employment insurance

May 24, 2020 - 13:51 By Ko Jun-tae
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Chairman Kim Myeong-hwan (Yonhap)
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Chairman Kim Myeong-hwan is meeting with Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon this week to discuss the government’s plan to implement a universal employment insurance program.

Kim and Park are on the same page in that they oppose the current administration’s step-by-step approach to providing employment insurance for all citizens. They both insist that a full-scale program be launched at once.

Since paying out COVID-19 disaster relief as part of a universal program to alleviate the difficulties that workers are facing because of the pandemic, the Moon Jae-in administration is studying ways to expand the employment insurance program to include all workers, including the self-employed.

As part of that initiative, the government is looking at the possibility of gradually including different categories of workers, starting with 770,000 workers in nine occupations.

After meeting with Park, Kim is scheduled to meet with Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki and is expected to argue for financial support from the government to stabilize employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the outbreak started, the KCTU has been active in opening up discussions and has taken part in several major COVID-19-related meetings with government authorities.

By Ko Jun-tae (