APREC Solidarity Statement in Support of Workers at the Jinju and Namwon Medical Clinics
In South Korea, local medical clinics run by provincial governments exist around the country. These clinics are essential to providing needed healthcare services to rural and low income families and patients.
Recently, however, the provincial government of South Geongsang Province announced its plan to close the medical center in Jinju, citing the medical center’s deficit as the reason. In response the patients at the clinic faced with forced discharge have begun to protest. The clinic workers have also been struggling to keep the clinic open, with the nurses going so far as to begin a hunger strike.
In addition, the management of the Namwon Medical Clinic recently notified the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) Namwon Medical Clinic Branch of unilateral cancellation of its collective bargaining agreement for the second time since last year. Last year the union members carried out an over month-long strike in protest against the cancellation of their CBA and they are currently preparing for a new struggle.
Recognizing the closure of the Jinju Medical Center and the cancellation of the Namwon Medical Center CBA as dangerous attacks on public healthcare and trade union rights, the PSI-affiliated KHMU, other Korean PSI affiliates and the entire Korean labor movement have declared on all-out fight and are planning a national workers’ rally for April 13.
The PSI Asia Pacific Regional Executive Committee supports the struggle of Korean workers to defend public healthcare and public sector trade union rights. We call on the Korean government, the South Gyeongsang Provincial Government and the management of the Namwon Medical clinic to heed Korean workers’ demands to keep the Jinju clinic open and restore the CBA at the Namwon clinic. We will struggle in solidarity with our Korean sisters and brother until their demands are met.