KHMU INFO <5> August 24, 2015
“The Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church Should Lead in Settling this Issue”
KHMU Will Visit the Vatican in Rome unless the Situation is Settled Shortly.
KHMU Held a Resolution Rally in front of Catholic University Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital and the Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church.
The Korea Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU, President Yoo Ji-hyun) hosted a rally in front of Catholic University Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital and the Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church in order to urge the organizations in charge to be more responsible and active in settling the violations.
Until today, the Catholic hospital in Incheon has focused solely on profits: by conducting unreasonable campaigns to attract patients, oppressing the labor union, and collectively bullying the union branch head. Even worse, however, the management has repeatedly denied the charges.
President Yoo stated in the rally: “The hospital has successfully grown in size over the past 10 years by exploiting patients as well as workers. They oppressed labor union activities and since last April, they have even bullied the union branch head in an organized way. Now, it is time for the Incheon Diocese to solve the problem up front. If the diocese does not respond to our request by the end of August, we will visit the Vatican. With the workers’ collective power, we will keep struggling to improve conditions at St. Mary’s hospital.
The rally was also joined by Vice Chairman Lee Sang-jin of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), National Assemblywoman Jang Ha-na of the Labor and Environment Committee and representative of the Civic Taskforce Committee. They denounced the hospital with a unified voice and urged it to address the issues.
KHMU’s rally proceeded in a peaceful way, but the hospital deliberately disrupted the legitimate demonstration by playing dance music through loudspeakers aimed at the rally participants. Plus, they posted banners in front of the hospital to blame the labor union and its activities. They also increased security employees from third parties and hundreds of the contract security guards in black were dispersed throughout the rally venue. On August 6, around 50 security employees violently prevented union executives from circulating union leaflets in the hospital canteen during lunchtime. The violence left one executive hospitalized with a psychological trauma that would take three weeks to heal.
Following the rally in front of the hospital, unionists moved to Dapdong church where the Incheon Diocese is located to continue the rally. Hundreds of policemen had already been on standby inside the church.
KHMU demanded a direct meeting with the bishop, but it was rejected. Protesters continued sit-in demonstration until late evening in front of the church.
On August 20, Ms. Hong, the hospital’s labor union head, started a no-time-limit tent protest in front of the church to urge the diocese to actively involve itself in settling the issues. Also Ms. Hong will start hunger struggle on August 25.
KHMU hosted a rally in front of Catholic University Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital
KHMU hosted a rally in front of Catholic University Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital and the Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church.
KHMU president Yoo Ji-hyun
Ms. Hong Myeong-ock