S. Korean government pushing for greater financial transparency of labor unions

SEOUL– The government is seeking to revise laws to increase financial transparency of labor unions to make it harder for improper spending to take place, the labor minister said Monday.

The proposal comes after a series of remarks by President Yoon Suk Yeol who emphasized bolstering oversight of unions. He also described corruption in labor unions as one of the top three types of corruption that need to be eliminated.

“There is growing mistrust among the people in labor union’s financial management, whether finances are managed transparently and disclosed in accordance,” Labor Minister Lee Jeong-sik told a press briefing.

Prior to the revision, the government first plans to induce unions with more than 1,000 members and federations to inspect their own financial accounting documents.

The plan will be carried out by the end of next January.

The government then plans to impose a fine of up to 5 million won (US$3,900) on labor organizations that fail to keep their documents or falsify their financial activities.

The government then plans to revise the current law so that it is designed to provide members of labor unions with more detailed information about financial activities of their unions than is available through the current disclosure, according to the minister.

The minister also said the government will push for revision of the law to secure independence of auditors of labor unions. Under the current law, an audit is required of all labor unions, yet there is no restriction on what body can play such a role.

The revised law would specify the qualification of the auditor, the minister said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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