Mediation, Arbitration, and the Determination of Matters Related to Essential Minimum Services

Mediation

Mediation Request
  • Mediation may be requested when there is a labor dispute due to disagreements between labor and management regarding wages, working hours, employee welfare, dismissal, treatment, and other working conditions.
    ※ Any industrial action is prohibited prior to the mediation procedures or during the mediation period.
Mediation Period
  • 10 days for general businesses and 15 days for public utilities.
    ※ The period may be extended up to 10 days for general businesses and 15 days for public utilities after a mutual agreement     between both parties concerned.
Composition
  • When a mediation request is received, a mediation committee is formed in case of general businesses, while a special mediation committee is formed for public utilities.
Mediation Committee
  • It is composed of 3 members, with 1 employee commissioner, 1 employer commissioner, and a public interest commissioner in charge of mediation. The employee commissioner and the employer' commissioner are designated by employers and labor unions, respectively.
    * When there is a mutual agreement or at the request of both parties, a single commissoner may mediate the dispute.
Special Mediation Committee
  • It is composed of 3 commissioners appointed by the Chairperson, out of the remaining 4 to 6 public interest commissioners in charge of mediation after elimination by unions and employers.
Public Utilities
  • Regular route passenger transportation and air transportation
  • Waterworks, electricity, gas, petroleum refining, and oil supply
  • Public hygiene, medical care, and blood supply
  • Banks and mintage
  • Broadcasting and communications
Essential Minimum Public Services
  • Railroads (including metropolitan railroads) and air transportation
  • Waterworks, electricity, gas, petroleum refining, and oil supply
  • Hospitals and the blood supply
  • The Bank of Korea services
  • Communications
  • The mediation committee requests both parties to attend, verifies their claims, and proposes them a mediation for acceptance.
    ※ When the mediation proposal is accepted, all mediation commissioners prepare a consent decree, sign and seal it with the     parties concerned.
  • When the parties concerned refuse to accept the proposal, and therefore there seems to be no possibility for further mediation, the mediation committee may decide to end the mediation and notifies both sides of its decision.
Types of Mediation
  • The mediation committee holds a mediation council and concludes cases in three broad ways: presentation of a mediation proposal, suspension of mediation (not mediation proposal), and issuance of administrative guidance.
  • Presentation of a mediation proposal
    This is taken in cases where differences are narrow between labor and management, and both sides are likely to accept once a mediation proposal is presented.
  • Suspension of mediation
    This is taken in cases where it is difficult to present a mediation proposal because of a wide gap between labor and management or where both labor and management do not want a mediation proposal.
  • Administrative guidance
    When the case is not legally recognized as a labor dispute (e.g a dispute raised by an unqualified union), the reason for disqualification is explained and other solutions may be presented.

Arbitration

Requirements for Arbitration
  • Request for arbitration needs to be made by both sides.
  • A single party to the dispute can make arbitration request in case it is specified in the collective agreement.
  • A dispute may also be referred to arbitration if there is no possibility for emergency mediation.
    ※ Where a labor dispute is referred to arbitration, any industrial action is prohibited within 15 days from the date of the referral.
Request for Arbitration
  • Same documents for mediation should be submitted to the Labor Relations Commission.
  • Where one side requests arbitration based on the collective bargaining agreement, a copy of the collective bargaining agreement needs to be submitted.
Composition of an Arbitration Committee
  • It is composed of 3 public interest commissioners in charge of mediation selected by mutual agreement by the parties concerned.
    - Where both sides fail to reach an agreement, the committee will be composed of 3 public interest commissioners in charge of   mediation selected by the chairperson of the commission.
Arbitration Committee
  • Either side or both must attend the arbitration committee and verify the major points of their claims.
    - The employee commissioner and employer commissioner nominated by the parties concerned may attend the arbitration   committee to state their opinions with the consent of the committee.
Validity of Arbitration Rulings
  • The arbitration rulings must be documented with the effective date clearly stated.
  • Arbitration rulings have the same effect as a collective bargaining agreement.
  • When there is discordance between both sides in interpretation and execution of the rulings, both sides must comply with the interpretation of the arbitration committee, and that interpretation has the same effect as the arbitration rulings.
Difference between Mediation and Arbitration
  • Arbitration rulings are legally binding and have the same force as a collective bargaining agreement, and where a case is referred to arbitration, any industrial action is prohibited for the first 15 days after the referral.
Objection to Arbitration Rulings
  • Where either party believes that the arbitration rulings of the Regional Labor Relations Commission are unlawful or constitute an abuse of authority, the parties may appeal to the NLRC within 10 days of receiving the arbitration rulings.
  • Where the NLRC's arbitration rulings or retrial decisions are deemed to be unlawful or to constitute an abuse of authority, the parties may file administrative litigation within 15 days of receiving the arbitration rulings or retrial decisions.

Objection to Arbitration Rulings 이미지

Emergency Mediation

Requirements for Emergency Mediation
  • Where the disputes are related to public utilities, large in scale, or of a special nature, and thus may threaten the national economy or people's everyday lives, the Minister of Employment and Labor may decide to carry out emergency mediation after consulting with the NLRC chairperson.
    ※ Where the decision to cary out emergency mediation is notified any industrial action is prohibited for 30 days from the date of notification.
Emergency Mediation Procedures
  • The NLRC immediately begins mediation once notified of the decision to undertake emergency mediation.
    - Where the NLRC Chairperson acknowledges that successful mediation is highly unlikely, he/she may decide whether the case   should be referred to arbitration within 15 days of the notice after consultation with public interest commissioner.
  • The arbitration immediately starts where either party or both parties concerned request arbitration or where the NLRC Chairperson decides to refer the case to arbitration.

Mediation Procedure for Labor Disputes

Mediation Procedure for Labor Disputes 이미지

Determination of the maintenance and operation levels of Essential Minimum Services

Definition of Essential Minimum Services
  • Essential public services whose suspension or termination can result in a threat to the publiclife and health, physical safety or daily lives.
    ※ The Compulsory Arbitration for essential public services was abolished and the Essential Minimum Service System was     introduced(effective from Jan. 1, ’08).
Request for Determination
  • Where labor and management in public service are not able to come to an agreement on the level of minimum services to be maintained and the range of functions to be kept minimal in service during strikes, either party or both parties concerned may make a request.
    ※ Essential minimum services should be maintained and operated during industrial action in accordance with the essential minimum     service agreement(or the determination by the LRC).
Determination Procedures
  • A special mediation committee is formed with 3 public interest commissioners.
  • After examination of cases, the special mediation committee determines the maintenance and operation level of essential minimum services.
Appeal Procedures and Their Effectiveness
  • If a decision of the RLRC is seen as unlawful or an abuse of authority, it is possible to request a retrial to the NLRC within 10 days of receiving the written decision.
  • In case any party disagrees with the NLRC’s rulings of the retrial, the party can file an administrative lawsuit with the Administrative Court within 15 days of receiving the written decision.
  • The LRC’s decision on essential minimum services or the retrial decision shall not be nullified by a retrial request or an administrative litigation request.

Procedure for the Essential Minimum Services Determination

Mediation Procedure for Labor Disputes 이미지