The Federation of Korean Industries is seeking to mend its ways to regain public trust and become a more reliable business representative.
The organization, which traditionally represents the nation’s richest and largest companies, is now even considering joining forces with People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, one of the most liberal civic groups in Korea.
The move comes following a statement from the federation last week, saying that it had decided to operate a separate committee to regain public trust.
Opinion leaders including those from political circles, the media, civic groups and academia are to be on the roster for those participating in the committee, the federation said.
“We need to talk on all levels to be able to draw out reforms that will really stand out,” said one FKI official.
The FKI has been under fire not only from the public for its lack of a significant role in the local corporate sector, but also from companies for failing to represent their interests.
“We dropped out from the membership, but the federation pleaded for us to get back in, we’re thinking because of the membership fees,” said one corporate executive who declined to be identified.
The membership fees usually are between 10 million won and 20 million won per year for medium-sized companies, and more for conglomerates. The fees finance the federation.
As for the public, many, including well-known figures such as former Seoul National University president Chung Un-chan, have lambasted the organization for blindly siding with conglomerates.
By Kim Ji-hyun (email@example.com