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All-Out Fight of KHMU Against the “Retrogressive Manipulation of the Labor Market”
100,000-People Rally to take place on November 14, Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions to go on strike in early December
The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union, or KHMU, headed by the President Yoo Ji-Hyun, has decided to raise an all-out struggle against the government’s arbitrary attempt in progress to change the labor market structure for the worse.
The Park Geun-hye Administration is currently pushing to make retrogressive changes to the labor market. They are giving guidelines to the Ministry of Labor and trying to amend laws to make it easier for companies to fire workers, increase the number of temporary positions, and implement “Wage-Peak System” without the workers’ consent.
Organizations determined to stand against the government’s such a tyrannical action are planning to hold “All-Out Struggle of the People” involving workers, farmers, and citizens. The Struggle, which is planned to take place in the streets of Seoul, will attract more than 100,000 people, and will be the largest rally in recent memory.
Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, or KCTU, will unfold an all-out three-stage strike struggle from December 3 to prevent Congress from passing related bills.
In line with this, the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union is scheduled to host a Provisional Convention of Delegates on November 16. Here, they will make a statement regarding their resolution to take part in the all-out strike struggle. The Union members in the National University Hospital branch and Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences branch will participate in the December KCTU all-out strike. Executive members and delegates from other branches are also planned to join the struggle. The Park administration is pushing to implement “Wage-Peak System,” a system set out to cut without consent the wages of workers who work in national university hospitals, which are facilities maintained for the good of the public.
Meanwhile, KHMU has been negotiating on behalf of their branches in each industry since July 8, and they have also been heading negotiations depending on each character and branch. Employers armed with the government’s retrogressive change to the labor market remained unchanged in their uncooperative manner. On October 13, KHMU filed a petition to the Labor Committee for mediation of labor dispute that involved around 20,000 union members in 52 branches. Then from October 20 to 22, they held a yay-or-nay vote to decide whether to go on a strike, followed by October 28 “Eve of the Strike” rally. Then on October 29, more than 1,000 union members got together in the streets of Seoul to take part in the “Strike Rally Against the Retrogressive Change of Labor Market and for the Strengthening of the Public Sectors of the Society.”
The KHMU Seoul district headquarters hosted “Rally to Show the Seoul Headquarters’ Support for the All-Out Struggle” on the night of 14th in front of the Korean University Medical Center. 2,000 union members joined this event.
Ehwa Medical Center branch went on a 5-day strike, and wage negotiation is completed in most of private hospitals.
In this year’s by-industry negotiation, KHMU demanded the prevention of the government’s retrogressive change of the labor market, increase in wage for the actual improvement of wages, procuring enough labor force for job creation, and eliminating temporary positions in hospitals for safety purposes. Coupled with these demands, KHMU is also unfolding a large-scale push for “The Campaign to Establish Three Areas of Respect in Hospitals.” The campaign is aiming to create respect for safety in hospital, friendly work place environment devoid of physical or verbal violence, and strict working hours.
Picture: KHMU’s All-Out Strike rally held on October 29
KHMU President Yoo ji hyun