||Kim, Dae-Jung was elected as president of South Korea in December, 1997. He was expected to promote democratization of South Korea. Labourers and workers wholeheartedly supported Kim's regime more than any previous regime. It was because of their belief that Kim's regime was the first peaceful handover of power in 37 years since the April 19 Revolution in 1960 (which overthrew the Rhee Syngman dictatorship but which was quickly defeated by a military coup). Additionally, Kim's government is believed to represent not only the middle class but also the lower class. That is why the Kim regime's ideology of "People's Government" functions on the basis of the people's identification with the destiny of the regime and their mobilization for the government's program of democratic transformation. Taking advantage of the people's support, Kim's regime has been pursuing the globalization of capital in the name of neo-liberalism. But the "People's Government" is dealing with all the problems that arise out of the process of neoliberalism by shifting the painful burden onto the people. Neo-liberalism was understood as a common good for all the people to overcome the national crisis brought on by the IMF.
The ideological hypocrisy of Kim's regime was shown in the process of adopting the policy of neo-liberalism. Restructuring of industrial structure based on reduction of labour, a welfare system just for show, investment of public funds to rescue banks and enterprises and so on are the good examples which shows how the daily life of the people are being threatened in South Korea. Particularly, right after the summit meeting between South and North Korea, which happened on 15th of June, 2000, Kim's regime is becoming more repressive towards the workers than before. It means that his government is not a 'People's government' but a 'government of capital.' Nho, Mu-Hyun's government, which claimed to stand for (issued on) "participation and reformation" was established in February, 2002.
But Nho's regime enforced neo-liberalism as well. Especially Nho's regime have been driving restructuring public section on the basis of neo-liberalism under the good reason of reformation for public section. Workers are faced with unemployment and a wage cut. On the other hand, Nho's government tried to form a 'society-unified' connection with labor and capital, and the focus of it was to join Democratic Trade Union in The Tripartite Commission. So the government investigated the leaders about personal absurdities, which was used to compelled Democratic Trade Union to join in the Commission.
The idea of it was that labor - capital could pursue a mutual victory through social consensus. The forth leadership of Democratic Trade Union put 'social negotiation' on the major agenda of three Representative conventions, which were held from September 21, 2004 to February 1, 2005. But the representatives refused the strategy of social consensus suggested by the leadership of Democratic Trade Union
The reason to refuse the strategy was the following : the Tripartite Commission formed in Kim's government is not only the system giving a good reason to repress laborers, but is not performing the agreements between government and labor in the Tripartite Commission. Trade union movement in Korea is now struggling to acquire the right for temporary worker without 'social consensus'. Democratic Trade Union is preparing a general nationwide strike. This line raises various questions.
First, how the strategy of social consensus has been pursued? Second, has the struggle line to decline the strategy of social consensus hindered neo-liberalism policy of restructuring of industrial structure by nation - capital. Third, does the militant trade unionism against nation - capital strengthen solidarity between labor class and conflict between classes? The purpose of this article is to research the grounds to answer those questions.