Labour polarization: Labour aristocracy versus irregular workers in post-development Korea

Hyung A. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Focusing on the on-going conflict between the so-called labor aristocracy of regular workers of large firms in heavy and chemical industry and irregular workers who comprise 45% of all wage earners in South Korean society, this chapter examines labor polarization in post-developmental Korea. The chapter argues that the Korean case of supercapitalism drove not only chaebol to become far more competitive, global and innovative, but also drove the large-firm trade unions to corporatize their management structures, through which regular skilled workers and their militant unions exploit irregular workers as a buffer for their own company-based union interests in todays post-developmental Korea.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationKorea's Quest for Economic Democratization
    Subtitle of host publicationGlobalization, Polarization and Contention
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319570662
    ISBN (Print)9783319570655
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'Labour polarization: Labour aristocracy versus irregular workers in post-development Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this