Launch of the labour mutual aid association

NEWS 2021. 08. 04. 06:53

Inaugural meeting of labor mutual aid association ‘Poolbbang’ (27th May 2021)

Poolbbang officially launched as a labour mutual aid association with 15 member organizations including non-profit Foundations, labour unions and cooperatives in Korea. Through jointly pooled resources and mutual aids, Poolbbang will provide security nets and capacity building programs for workers. Along with its patient capital(loan) programs for precarious workers, the SVS Foundation has been actively involved in coordinating the association and supporting its initiatives.

:: About Poolbbang :: 

The Workers Mutual Aid Association Poolbbang

Poolbbang, a workers mutual aid association, was established in April 2021 as a non-profit organization with the aims of promoting workers’ self-help associations and protecting workers' rights and interests, by carrying out mutual-aid projects based on social solidarity and mutual aid and other projects to improve insecure employment conditions. Fifteen organizations that share a vision for social change through workers mutual aid, have participated as members, including workers mutual aid associations which provide mutual aid programs for workers, their support organizations, and their supporting members (individuals, organizations, corporations, etc.). It focuses on providing capacity building, mutual aid programs, establishing and managing an independent database of employees’ working history, and promoting workers’ rights and interests, in order to identify and nurture their self-help organizations. 

SVS continues to provide a range of support for the establishment and operation of workers mutual aid associations in order to respond to the current crisis, where the prolonged economic impact of Covid-19 has revealed blind spots in the unemployment safety net centered around employment insurance, as well as the issues involving the growing proportion of insecure employment, such as special employment workers, freelancers and platform workers.

Member institutions of Poolbbang

Garment Workers’ Mutual Aid Association of the National Chemical, Textile and Food Workers Union, Korean Designated Drivers Cooperative, Social Cooperative Jobarte, Korea Smart Cooperative, Korean Domestic Workers Association, Chuntaeil Foundation, Roh Hoe-chan Foundation, SVS, Social Cooperative Jahwalcoop, Social Cooperative Parti, Handurae coop, Riders Union, National Labor Union of Shuttle Bus Drivers, Working People’s Mutual Aid Association Good Neighbors, Korean Contingent Workers’ Center

:: Related SVS portfolio ::

Loans to the mutual-aid organizations for workers in precarious employment

SVS has launched an emergency small loans program for workers in precarious employment in order to help improve the quality of life of individuals in vulnerable working conditions by providing small emergency loans to special employment workers and platform workers experiencing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This program matches KRW 2 billion from the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Social Investment Fund with KRW 400 million from SVS to provide interest-free, unsecured loans up to an agreed level to precarious workers' organizations that started or plan to start a mutual-aid program. The workers’ organizations, in turn, provide loans (unsecured, interest rate less than 3%) to their members to cover emergency living costs.


SVS has selected six workers' organizations (Seoul Riders Union, Social Cooperative Jobarte, Korea Smart Cooperative, Korea Designated Drivers Cooperative, Garment Workers’ Mutual Aid Association of the National Chemical, Textile and Food Workers Union, and Social Cooperative Jahwalcoop) through a public contest, and provided the ‘living stabilization fund’ at low interest rates in order to support workers in precarious employment who face even greater financial difficulties due to Covid-19 and other challenges. SVS provides interest-free loans to workers' organizations starting a mutual-aid program of providing small loans, in order to underpin the growth of mutual-aid organizations and improve the financial access of workers in precarious employment, the end users of the loans.

Type : Loan

Term : 3 years (September 2020-September 2023)

SVS commitment : KRW 2.4 billion

Total commitment : KRW 2.4 billion