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The Multi-Dimensions of Industrial Relations in the Asian Knowledge-Based Economies by Hiromasa Suzuki, Chris Rowley, John Lawler, Sununta Siengthai

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Chapter 4

Globalization and Industrial Relations in Korea

Young-bum Park

1 INTRODUCTION

Since 1987 Korea has seen the promotion of labor rights, reduced state intervention into union activities and the establishment of a system of collective bargaining to determine wages and working conditions in Korean workplaces. However, the price of this transformation has been substantial. Consecutive wage rises, often surpassing productivity gains, have become a heavy burden on the competitiveness of Korean companies. The Korean economy has also had to pay a high price due to the frequent strikes and work stoppages that occurred during this period.

Hence, the debate over labor law reform as a measure (particularly in the area of expanding union rights ...

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