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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
108 Statement of solidarity on the occasion of KHMU National Congress -PSI Rosa Pavanelli file 교선실장 2015.03.08 1037
107 Supporting SEIU Local 49-Minimum Standards Campaign file 교선실장 2015.04.13 1203
106 KCTU strike 24,April file 교선실장 2015.04.27 1062
105 KHMU INFO <2> KHMU Urge Government to Take Comprehensive Action to Respond to MERS file 교선실장 2015.06.02 11191
104 KHMU INFO<3> “Save People’s Lives, Protect Workers’ Safety” file KangYeonbae 2015.06.14 1008
103 KHMU 4th Press conference file KangYeonbae 2015.06.22 1047
102 KHMU 5th Press Conference file KangYeonbae 2015.06.22 969
101 UNI Global Union Statement on MERS in South Korea file KangYeonbae 2015.06.22 1096
100 KHMU INFO <4> August 4, 2015 Catholic University Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital’s Profit Focused Management, Anti-union Policies and Actions, file 교선실장 2015.08.04 1644
99 KHMU INFO <5> August 24, 2015 “The Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church Should Lead in Settling this Issue” file 교선실장 2015.08.24 832
98 KHMU INFO <6> The Majority of Health and Medical Workers (80.5%) say, “Manpower is in Short Supply.” file 교선실장 2015.09.01 920
97 KHMU INFO <7>KHMU Staged All-Out Struggle: Change our Workplaces and Medical System in Korea! file 교선실장 2015.09.10 969
96 Demonstrators’ Fury over government met with water cannon 교선실장 2015.11.21 786
95 <KHMU info 8> All-Out Fight of KHMU Against the “Retrogressive Manipulation of the Labor Market” file 교선실장 2015.11.28 24327
» 4th UNI APRO, Korean Union movement’s Fight for Democracy and Workers Rights Get Full International Support file 교선실장 2015.12.27 812
93 KHMU info <9> December 29, 2015 KCTU to Continue their All-out Struggle to Prevent the Government’s Attempt to Make Five Retrogressive Revisions to the Labor Law file 교선실장 2015.12.29 689
92 First Foreign For-Profit Hospital in Korea Approved.... China’s “Greenland International Hospital” to be Established on Jeju Island. file 교선실장 2015.12.29 999
91 The Regional Director of Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, Hong Myeong-ok, Continues her 12-day Fasting in front of the Catholic Diocese of Incheon file 교선실장 2015.12.29 874
90 KHMU INFO <1>KHMU resolves to fight for “a sufficient number of health and medical workers” and against “the performance-based annual salary system.” file 교선실장 2016.03.03 1005
89 KHMUinfo <2>Incheon St. Mary's Hospital Receives 'Obstacle to Gender Equality Award' on March 8 2016 International Women's Day file 선전홍보실장 2016.03.12 1290
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