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Korean Union movement’s Fight for Democracy and Workers Rights Get Full International Support

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We, participants of the 4th UNI APRO Regional Conference held on Dec 6-8th in Kuala Lumpur, would like to express great concerns about the regressive trend of democracy in Korea. The current government is now pushing anti-labor reforms and violently suppressing democratic labor movement.

At the end of 2014, Korean government announced that it will reshuffle Korean labor market in Chaebol-friendly ways. For example, introducing the wage peak system, if it is legislated,will slash senior workers’ wages as much as the time they have been loyal to the company just in order to recruit more temporary workers. To cite some people’s comments on this policy, it is like ‘taking father’s salaries so that his son can find a part-time job at the McDonald’s”. Also, the government is promoting deregulation on employment to improve ‘competitiveness’ of companies against its foreign competitors which is in fact withdrawing almost every safety net for employees at workplaces. In addition, the reform will leave irregular worker’s fate to “very generous”employers’ discretion which is against the current labor law,stipulating minimum working terms for an irregular worker to be promoted to the permanent position.

                  The desire for democratic labor movement is now facing serious challenges even these days. The government is not only forcing workers to shoulder the responsibilities for economic crisis by imposing anti-labor reforms as a remedy for economic slowdown, but also suppressing labor movements as a measurement for social security.Especially, Korean government’s attitude towards the People’s Rally held on November 14th in Seoul clearly shows the crisis of democracy in Korea. The police forces blocked protestors from advancing forward by surrounding them with huge riot buses, and fired water cannons which are equipped with deadly chemicals at 130,000 innocent people comprising farmers, workers, and social activists. We are very alarmed to hear that one 68 year-old farmer who was marching at the front line, collapsed from the continuous water cannon assault. He had to undergo a brain surgery and is now in a critical condition. Also, according to Korean affiliates, our Bro. Han Sang-Kyun, president KCTU is still on the wanted-list of the police, and the legitimacy of the Public Servants Union and the Korea Teachers Union is still denied.

The OECD TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee) sent its international mission to South Korea last year in the light of the government’s non-compliance with international commitments on labor issues by ILO, OECD, and EU-Korea FTA last year. And even Philip J. Jennings recently sent a letter to Korean president, Park Geun-Hye, urging her to stop those violent actions by police forces and anti-labor reforms.


In this current situation, we would like to call upon the Korean government to meet our following demands:

  • Immediately release all imprisoned workers and stop the union repression

  • Open a social dialogue based upon mutual-respect and to hear the voices of workers and farmers

  • Stop the repression on journalists and guarantee the freedom of speech

  • Stop all policies that disrupt the democratic movement.

    We are all in full international solidarity with the Korean union movement and will continue to support the fight until we achieve victory and justice.

     

    *Bro. Han Sang-Kyun, KCTU president, who was issued an arrest warrant, escaped into the Chogyesa Temple in Seoul and asked the temple authorities for protection from the police since November 16.

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List of Articles
번호 제목 글쓴이 날짜 조회 수
127 Press Conference to Announce PSI's Position on the Sewol Ferry Tragedy file KANG.yb 2014.06.09 7602
126 June 11, Yoo Ji-Hyun, president of KHMU started to a hunger strike file KANG.yb 2014.06.14 2929
125 KHMU INFO<9> June 15, 2014. KHMU President Yoo Fasts to Protest Government Health Care Privatization Plan. file KANG.yb 2014.06.15 2328
124 KHMU Strike rally and march file 교육선전실장 2014.06.24 2990
123 The Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union (KHMU) are holding a series of strikes and rallies from 24 to 30 June. file 교육선전실장 2014.06.29 6532
122 Solidarity message from Phillip Jennings General Secretary of UNI Global unions to the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union(KHMU) file 교육선전실장 2014.06.30 2740
121 KHMU 2nd Strike on July 22nd file 교육선전실장 2014.07.15 3123
120 KHMU second Strike file 교육선전실장 2014.07.26 2037
119 KHMU INFO<10> August 5, 2014 file 교육선전실장 2014.08.05 1715
118 KHMU 3rd Strike file 교육선전실장 2014.09.27 1496
117 7th KCTU leadership education and exchange in Asia Program file 교육선전실장 2014.09.29 1754
116 VIsited Vietnam National Union of Health Workers’ Union file 교육선전실장 2014.09.29 1674
115 Support for Cambodian garment workers from KHMU file 교육선전실장 2014.09.30 1619
114 When it comes to pregnancy, women being told to ‘wait their turn’ file 교육선전실장 2014.10.20 2033
113 Asia Pacific Forum on trade union rights: It is time for Action Now! file 교육선전실장 2014.11.03 1526
112 KHMU, support the PSI Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Aid Fund file 교육선전실장 2014.11.03 2093
111 KHMU INFO<11>President Yoo, Ji-Hyun Reelected with 93.7% Public Support: The First President Re-elected by the KHMU. file 교육선전실장 2014.11.28 2437
110 4th World Congress of UNI Global Union file 교육선전실장 2014.12.18 22052
109 KHMU INFO <1> January 21, 2015 “Yes! The very industry-based union that we have dreamt of” file 교육선전실장 2015.01.22 1456
108 KHMU joined the Right to strike campaign. file 교선실장 2015.02.20 2108
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