Amid the national crisis caused by foreign financial turmoil in late 1997, the President-elect, Mr. Kim, Dae-jung called an emergency committee on economy in December 1997.
He proposed to set up a social dialogue body consisting labor, management and the government in order to discuss to overcome the economic crisis. So that, the Tripartite Commission(currently named 'Economic and Social Development Commission') was launched on December 15, 1998.
Shortly after set-up of the Economic and Social Development Commission, there was a common perception that reforms on the government, enterprises and the political arena should be made at the same time with earlier decisive steps in order to overcome the economic crisis.
Based on this perception, the Economic and Social Development Commission unanimously agreed the Joint Declaration for fair burden sharing to overcome the economic crisis on January 20, 1998, and adopted 10 agenda to put the spirit of the Declaration into practical use.
After having 6 times of Plenary meetings, 10 times of basic committee meetings and 11 times of special committee meetings, the Economic and Social Development Commission reached the historic Social Pact to Overcome the Economic Crisis on February 6, 1998. The Pact includes reforms of four major sectors such as financial, private, public and labor market sectors.
('97.12.17) the President-elect, Mr. Kim, Dae-jung requested labor and management to establish a tripartite consultative body to overcome the economic crisis.
('97.12.26~27) the President-elect, Mr. Kim, Dae-jung met leaders of both the Federation of Korean Trade Unions(FKTU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) and requested them to compose and participate in a tripartite consultative body for overcoming the economic crisis.
('98.1.15) the Korea Tripartite Commission(currently named "Economic and Social Development Commission") was established according to agreement of labor, management, government and political circle.
('98.1.15) the 1st Plenary Meeting was held in order to decide the composition of the Plenary Committee and regulations of the Economic and Social development Commission.
('98.1.17) the 2nd Plenary Meeting announced to reach an Agreement that labor, management and the government show their will to share burdens.
('98.1.19) the 3rd Plenary Meeting adopted 47 agenda of committees.
('98.1.20) the 4th Plenary Meeting reached the Joint Declaration for fair burden sharing to overcome the economic crisis.
('98.2.4) the 5th Plenary Meeting decided that the draft of the Social Pact should be submitted to the Plenary Committee after decision of the Basic Committee. Each economic and social actors promised to provide active cooperation for reaching the Social Pact.
('98.2.6) the 6th Plenary Meeting reached the historic Social Pact to Overcome the Economic Crisis.
('98.1.16~2.7) 10 times of Basic Committee meetings and 11 times of special committees meetings took place.
The Social Pact includes 90 items, and major contents of the items run as follows.
promotion of management transparency and restructuring, improvement of the corporate financial structure, establishment of responsible management system, promotion of business competitiveness, stabilization of prices, employment stabilization and measures for unemployment(expansion of employment insurance and extension of coverage, support for retired and unemployed workers, promotion of job placement services, expansion of vocational training, job creation, reduction of imported workers and improvement of administration system etc), extension and consolidation of social security system, wage stabilization and enhancement of labor and management cooperation, protection of basic labor rights,enhancement of labor market flexibility, increase of export and improvement of the international balance of payments, agenda for grand social integration(recommendation of the Economic and Social Development Commission as alawful permanent body etc)
The Social Pact is a first-ever grand tripartite compromise to overcome the economic crisis through burden sharing and social integration of the labor, management and the government in our history.
The Pact deals with overall political, economic and social reform measures ranging from corporate restructuring such as reform on Chaebol(business tycoons), measures for employment and unemployment, labor market flexibility, basic labor rights and policies for social and welfare etc.
The Pact much contributed to promoting interests of international community and uplifting foreign investment by relieving anxieties and promoting credibility of the international community, therefore, the Pact played in a locomotive role in overcoming economic crisis.