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Title:Labor movement and labor policy under the American military government in Korea, 1945-1948
Author(s):Cho, Byung-Koo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Karsh, Bernard
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Modern
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:During the occupation period AMG confronted strong Korean opposition to many labor-management policies. The use of naked force rather than effective administration was the major AMG strategic approach. AMG openly and actively aided former collaborators of the Japanese colonial government and rightist politicians while destroying the largest workers' mass organization on the ground that it was dominated by leaders allied or sympathetic to the Soviet dominated North Korean government. This was the case even though AMG supported conservative political groups had lost mass legitimacy because of their collaboration with Japanese rule.
The basic labor policy of AMG was promulgated in Washington was to encouragement of democratic workers organizations, the policy was translated into local actions sharply at variance with it. This was in striking contrast to Japan where the same basic occupation policy under the administration of General MacArthur headquarters resulted in support of leftist workers' organizations including some communist as a major bulwark against the reemergence of the system controlled by giant industrial cartels in league with the military.
However, the GO-Political status of Korea was very different from that of Japan in addition to the presence of Soviet and Chinese troops north of the 38th parallel the exodus of a major Japanese owners and managers left a void in which there were no large scale capitalist groups to be restrained. AMG was left with the locally defined mission of curbing the strong influence of various leftist ideologies which had been the base of Korean opposition to Japanese colonial rule for some forty years.
Conservative unions replace those characterized as tainted with socialist, communist or other unexceptable ideologies. The growth of autonomous popular democratic institutions supported by industrial workers and farmers was thoroughly subordinated the politics as the result of AMG policies during these crucial formative years. Thus was laid the basis of strong state control of industrial relations and weak worker organizations, a situation which persists to this date.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Cho, Byung-Koo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124396
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124396

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