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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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67 KHMU INFO <6> The Majority of Health and Medical Workers (80.5%) say, “Manpower is in Short Supply.” file 교선실장 2015.09.01 920
66 KHMU declare a strike for September 28. 15,000 union members will join file 교선실장 2016.09.26 879
65 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 2015.12.29 871
64 One million Koreans in the streets of in Seoul, demanding resignation of President Park Geun-hye file 교선실장 2016.11.13 861
63 KHMU info The Year 2018 Survey on Health Workers’ Working Conditions , 81.8% respondents mention severe understaffed working environment file KANG,YeonBae 2018.08.06 857
62 KHMU INFO <5> August 24, 2015 “The Incheon Diocese of the Catholic Church Should Lead in Settling this Issue” file 교선실장 2015.08.24 830
» 4th UNI APRO, Korean Union movement’s Fight for Democracy and Workers Rights Get Full International Support file 교선실장 2015.12.27 809
60 KHMU Info 6. The first official tripartite dialogue focused on increasing decent work in the healthcare sector. file 교선실장 2017.06.20 799
59 KHMU INFO <4> Stop Performance-Based Annual Salary System, Secure Manpower, Bargain Wage-level for the Entire Industry file 교선실장 2016.05.16 793
58 Demonstrators’ Fury over government met with water cannon 교선실장 2015.11.21 779
57 commet Anthony 2021.09.23 749
56 The 20th Legislative Elections Shows the Public Sentiment Goes Against the Park Guen-Hye administration. KANGyb 2016.05.01 748
55 KHMU info <7> The September 28th General Strike by Industry & The November 12th Mass Rally file 교선실장 2016.09.05 723
54 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 2015.12.29 684
53 KHMUinfo <8> The KHMU launches a political campaign calling for President Park Geun-hye to step-down and for the entire cabinet to resign. file 교선실장 2016.11.07 672
52 KHMU info<3>KHMU Accelerates its Struggle to Stop Performance-based Annual Salary System file 교선실장 2016.05.01 665
51 KHMU INFO <10> December 21, 2016 The KHMU Urges President Park to Immediately Step Down and Be Impeached file 교선실장 2016.12.21 616
50 Eulji University Hospital continues to be on a strike for 35days in a row. Two branches of the KHMU are on a strike for over a month now file 교선실장 2017.11.13 612
49 KHMU Enters 20 Day Action Campaign for Establishment of Special Act on Support of Healthcare Human Resources file KANGyb 2016.05.01 595
48 Bisexuell Ausgehen Wege zu bekommen Beginnen otedyk 2021.02.08 585
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