|Employment and Labor Minister Lee Jeong-sik speaks during an emergency meeting of economy-related ministers at the government complex in Seoul, March 6. Yonhap|
Two major umbrella labor groups filed a complaint against Labor Minister Lee Jeong-sik on Tuesday over the government's decision to impose fines on labor unions refusing to disclose their account books.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions filed the complaint with the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials, accusing Lee of abuse of authority charges.
Earlier, the government announced it will impose fines on 86 labor unions and labor groups with 1,000 or more members that have been defying repeated calls for the disclosure of their account books.
"Imposing fines related to accounting greatly infringes upon autonomy by unfairly interfering with the management and finance of a labor union," the groups said in a press release.
Under the relevant labor law, labor organizations must report the results of their financial accounts and management status upon the government's request or could face a fine of up to 5 million won ($3,800).
The umbrella unions, however, emphasized such a law does not specifically include all documents or account books related to a labor group's financial activities.
The government of President Yoon Suk Yeol has made labor reform a key policy focus, vowing to eradicate illegal practices by labor unions at construction sites, such as forcing employers to hire people they want.
In accordance, the government has also been prodding labor unions to submit accounting records to increase financial transparency in order to make it harder for improper spending to take place. (Yonhap)