Korean Health & Medical Workers Union (KHMU) has organized a vote for collective action between 18 and 21 June. The result is that 26,794 out of 33,513 members (80.0%) joined this vote and 20,873 members (77.90%) overwhelmingly cast their votes for strike.
KHMU has met hospital employers for collective bargaining agreements since 23 April and tried to reach 2007 collective bargaining agreement under mutual understanding and bilateral trust between management and labor.
In the negotiation, KHMU has demanded hospital employers to strengthen the social aspect of health service, to restrict on utilization of irregular workers, to secure employment of regular workers, to implement 2006 collective agreement promising to establish a tripartite committee for hospital sector and complete the formation of hospital employers association, and to set up a joint committee to have a consultation on industrial wage system and employment security.
The overwhelming approval for industrial action by KHMU workers shows their anger against hospital employers who have paralyzed and crippled the national bargaining with irresponsible attitudes and irrational approaches. The employers have repeatedly walked out of negotiation table without any practical progress.
KHMU workers decided to organize their struggle in the face of insincerity and dishonest of employers. If hospital employers continuously deny a peaceful settlement with union, KHMU will stage anindustry-wide strike on 26 June, despite of the provision of labor laws to prohibit collective action in "essential public service" without the approval of government.
KHMU really wants to amicably and voluntarily conclude the 2007 industrial bargaining with hospital employers without any intervention by government and make a significant step for strengthening the structure of national bargaining in hospital sector. However, we will not hesitate to show our capacity of struggle, if hospital employers fail toshow their responsibility and sincerity.