KHMU INFO 6, May 2014
On May Day event “Let us converge our furious mind to step forward beyond our grieves”
KHMU reaffirmed that the tragedy is due to the government's excessive deregulations and, therefore, it urges the suspension of the commercialization and privatization of healthcare
Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) held the 124th May Day commemorative event on May 1 in fifteen major cities in South Korea including Seoul. KCTU announced Five-point Demands with regard to the sinking of ferry, Sewol, and Eleven-point Rally Demands, which include the resignation of the Park, Geun Hye administration.
Ø KHMU members in May Day event on May 1
KCTU demanded as follows in an effort to resolve the tragic accident: △ President Park should take responsibilities for the sinking of ferry, Sewol, which was led by the government's overall incompetence and lax administrative control △Implementing a paid vacation system in times of crisis for the victims and their families △ Instant suspension on privatization and deregulation policies, which prioritize profits ahead of people's lives △ Reinforcing punishment against business owners responsible for serious disasters or fatal accidents with an enactment of capital-slaughter law △ Enforcement of laws that prohibit exploiting non-regular workers in permanent jobs.
In the event, KCTU unveiled Eleven-Point Demands as follows: △ the resignation of President Park administration △ Halt on the labor repression and guarantee on the basic legal rights of labor. △ Stopping privatization and recession in basic pension pledge △ Attaining paid vacation of every worker in May day △Abolishing prolonged labor and shortening practical working hours △ Elimination of non-regular positions and conversion of them into regular positions △ Rationalization of minimum wage
and normalization of the ordinary wage △ Blocking wrongful normalization in public sector △ Sacking the chief of National Intelligence Service (NIS) and calling on dismantlement of NIS in order to secure the value of democracy △Strengthening the
responsibilities of Industrial safety authorities and reinforcing industrial disaster penalty law △ Discarding Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deals.
Ø On May 1, KHMU Marching on the street, exclaiming "Collapsed crisis management system! Breakdown in healthcare due to the privatization! For whom is the government intended"
The event was held in Seoul, starting at 14:00 PM at Seoul station, and about 10,000 workers marched to Seoul Plaza and there in the combined tribute altar did they pay tribute to the victims of the sinking ferry with their flags down.
At the venue, a large-scale placard was put up, exclaiming <For whom does this country exist? Stop murdering!> and protesters were carrying out hand-sized banners, saying <Outrage beyond the deepened sorrow>, <We deserve better, Ms. President!>.
Participant organizations tied yellow ribbons atop the flags.
Members in KCTU also wore yellow and black ribbons to express their condolences as well as their desperate hope for the victims and their families of the sinking ferry.
KHMU will have an all-out strike on June against the privatization of healthcare.
Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU, president: Yoo, Ji-hyun) held a street event and signature-collection campaign at Seoul Station after one o'clock on May 1, as part of publicizing efforts to let people know about expected problems of privatization in healthcare system along with the Headquarters of Pan-National Movement for deterring healthcare privatization and reinforcing public access to it.
Ø One o'clock on May 1, signature collection campaign at Seoul.
KHMU has been conducting a million's signature campaign against the privatization of healthcare, and 300,000 people has already participated in it in late April.
In addition, KHMU marched on the street at the event, carrying out placards which say <Collapsed crisis management system! Breakdown in healthcare due to the privatization! For whom is the government intended?>
Prior to the event, KHMU hosted temporal delegates meeting on April 30, and detailed 2014 bargaining and fight plans and decided to raise a fund for fighting against the privatization of healthcare. In the special statement they elaborated, they resolved △ to urge full-scale fact-finding and truth ascertainment over the sinking ferry △ to urge thorough reforms in government policies with regard to their neglects of fundamental obligations of securing people's safety and lives and their attempts to reduce the health and medical field to just a profit-seeking market △ to reflect public determinations including deterrence on the privatization of healthcare and enhancement of public access to healthcare. KHMU confirmed that every affiliate determined to register a mediation application on June 5th and participate in the general strike on June 23.
Ø On April 30, at KHMU temporal national congress
President Yoo, Ji-hyun stated on that day, pointing out "Calamity caused by capital avarice, excessive deregulation, safety frigidity, incompetence and irresponsibility shall not be repeated." And He added, "The government's healthcare privatization policy will only end up with nothing but abandonment of people's lives," and "we should commence our fight for nullifying it since it regards people's health and lives as a profit model."
Meanwhile, on May 1, members of labor and non-government organizations such as KHMU, KCTU, the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, and the Korean House for International Solidarity held a press conference in front of Thailand embassy to Seoul, urging the Thailand government to release Somyot immediately and revoke Lease Majeste law in violation of human rights. Devoted activist for Democracy, labor agitator and journalist, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk got detained by coup d'état military authorities on April 30, 2011 for violation of the ridiculous law. The judiciary in Thailand had sentenced the activist to 11 years of imprisonment and he has been behind bars for three years.
Attendees urged Thailand authorities to free Somyot and all political prisoners and abolish Lease Majeste Law in Thailand
<Video Clips Description>
Ø On April 10, the rally against the privatization of the railway and medical industry in front of the National Assembly
Ø On May 1, a press conference held for the release of Somyot.