Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalization
One of the most remarkable aspects of South Korea's transition from impoverished post-colonial nation to fully-fledged industrialized democracy has been the growth of its independent and dynamic labour movement. Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalisation examines current trends and transformations within the Korean labour movement since the 1990s.
It has been a common assumption that the 'third wave' of democratisation, the end of the Cold War, and the spread of neoliberal globalisation in the latter part of the 20th century have helped to create an environment in which organised labour is better placed to overcome bureaucratic national unionism and transform itself into a potential counter-globalisation movement. However, Kevin Gray argues that despite the apparent continued phenomena of labour militancy and the rhetoric of anti-neoliberalism, the mainstream independent labour movement in Korea has become increasingly institutionalised and bureaucratised into the new capitalist democracy. This process is demonstrated by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions' experience of participation in various forms of policy making forums. Gray suggests that as a result, the KCTU has failed to mount an effective challenge against processes of neoliberal restructuring and concomitant social polarisation.
The Korean experience provides an excellent case study for understanding the relationship between organised labour and globalisation. Korean Workers and Neoliberal Globalisation will appeal to students and scholars of Korean studies and International Political Economy, as well as Asian politics and economics.
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Thus , between 1987 and 1988 , wages increased by 15 to 20 per cent . However
, by the end of the economic boom , Korea ' s ... had fallen to single - digit figures (
Koo 2000 : 234 ) . The result of these massive wage increases was what ...
When the annual wage negotiation period came in Spring 1985 , workers
demanded a large increase to make up for ... to achieve a wage rise for the
previous two years , and they formed their own wage negotiating team
independently from ...
Furthermore , the job - seeking allowance was set at only 50 per cent of the basic
daily wage ' at the time of being laid off . It is a characteristic of the wage
composition in Korea that the basic daily wage is a relatively small component in
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