Rep. Kim Eul-dong of the ruling Saenuri Party called for legislative action on the protection of the rights of vendors, especially SMEs, by amending the laws dealing with conflicts involving large firms and vendors, and negotiations on the prices of goods and services provided by the SME vendors to make them more fair.
Rep. Kim said SMEs take up 99.9 percent of all the business firms in Korea while employing 87.7 percent of the work force, making it a major artery of the Korean economy. “We have to root out unfair practices for SME vendors in order to reform our economy to further boost its growth,” she said. She added that various laws and regulations ensuring fair practices between large firms and SME vendors should be reformed to protect SME vendors. She said such laws on the settlement of conflicts between large firms and SME vendors, and negotiations on prices of goods and services provided by SME vendors, should be reformed to ensure fair deals take place.
If the legislative proposals on the laws governing the reform of the rights of the SME vendors spur conflict settlement and the negotiation on the prices of goods and services provided by SME vendors, the legislator representing the Songpa Ward-C in Seoul said she hoped that the National Assembly would act on them as soon as possible.
Rep. Kim went on to note that the improvement of unfair practices between large firms and their SME vendors are the things that must be carried out for the sake of the reform of the economy and further growth, and she will continue to lend her ears to what’s going on in the SME community to catch any faults that need attention. She will adjust her legislative activities accordingly in the days ahead.
The following are the major points in the reform of the laws governing the rights of vendors that the legislator proposed for parliamentary approval:
Protection of SME rights by boosting the effectiveness of the conflict settlement for SME vendors. This proposed reform requires large firms to present the details of their readjustment moves and results to the National Assembly to ensure that the reformed laws on the conflict settlement is practiced, as called for in the reform of the laws governing conflict settlement. Fair Trade Committee will not issue an order to readjust the measures taken by large firms, but act only when their actions went against the reformed laws.
The extension of the conflict settlement period.
Period for conflict settlement should be extended with new kinds of conflicts developing requiring more time to solve when an agreement is reached between the parties involved, with the maximum extension period allowed up to 90 days from the current 60 days.
Negotiations on the prices of goods and services provided by SME vendors.
The proposal for reform calls for an extension to the negotiation period up to 20 days, with concerned parties submitting their disagreement to the Medium and Small Enterprise Cooperatives within seven days from the start of the disagreement.
Rep. Kim is shown at a meeting of parliamentarians. She often called for the measures to protect SME vendors and subcontractors from the whims of bigger companies.(Photos:Rep. Kim Eul-dong’s office)