International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work opens at Seoul City Hall.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is hosting a two-day forum that discusses the role of cities around the world to protect the rights and interests of workers in the rapidly changing labor environment.
In its third year, the International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work aims to develop policies to improve the lives of workers.
Ron Chang has the details.
Under the theme "Work for a Brighter Future," representatives from some 30 cities in South Korea and around the world, including Paris, Sao Paulo, Phnom Penh and Honolulu, are exchanging views on a number of issues related to the livelihood of workers, including fair wages and the right to work.
In his keynote speech, Tim Dunlop, author of the bestseller "Why the Future Is Workless," touched upon how technology will change the meaning of work.
He stressed that central and city governments need to actively work together to resolve so-called technological unemployment.
[Clip - Dunlop]
"Do not think about it in terms of just, can the technology do the job, but it's political and social decisions about how do we use the technology."
During a sit-down with Mayor Park Won-soon, Dunlop shared his views on platform work, a form of employment in which organizations or individuals use an online platform such as apps and social media to match the supply of and demand for paid labor.
[Clip - Dunlop]
"There is the risk that platform work makes work more precarious, less stable, worst conditions. Post work is thinking about not just work and the jobs that we do. It's thinking about wealth and wealth distribution."
In response, Mayor Park said the platform economy is being dominated by platform business operators, adding workers and even ordinary citizens are contributing to the platform economy but they are not being well compensated.
[Clip - Mayor Park]
"We should be able to tax these business operators. We should be able to improve the working conditions, the poor working conditions they are working in and we should be able to compensate the citizens who are not compensated by levying the tax in the form of basic income."
For the remainder of the forum, discussions will focus on the protection of safety and health of emotional laborers and ways to deal with harassment at work.
The inaugural assembly of the Decent Work City Network, the first inter-city international organization in the field of labor, will also open tomorrow.
Ron Chang, eFM News.■
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