PSI-APREC Resolution on South Korea
April 16, Bali Indonesia
The 2014 PSI Asia Pacific Regional Executive Committee (APREC) listened with grave concern to the Korean delegates’ report that the attack on public services and fundamental labour rights in the public sector unleashed by the South Korean Government is growing to a dangerous proportion.
APREC is very much disturbed that the government is violating the right to freedom of association of public sector workers, refusing to recognise the Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU) and Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), and legally denying fire fighters and police officers the right to form unions or occupational associations.
APREC is appalled by the Korean government’s routine criminalisation of legal strikes, use of criminal charges against them, imprisoning of union leaders and condoning of unfair dismissals and disciplinary actions against union members. This stifles democratic norms and seriously affects the workforce.
APREC is very much worried that the Park Geun-hye administration is forcing structural adjustment on public institutions, violating collective bargaining rights, weakening collective bargaining agreements and restricting trade union activities under the pretext of ‘normalising public institutions’.
APREC is alarmed that Park administration is ignoring the voices of workers and other stakeholders and repressing public sector unions in order to unilaterally pursue privatisation of basic public services such as healthcare, water, energy and the railway and also weaken the national pension system.
APREC is outraged that the Korean government has blatantly ignored ILO recommendations and failed to meet the representatives of the international labour movement concerning these issues, even after several attempts by the global labour movement, for meaningful dialogue. This sends a dangerous message to global labour community to be apprehensive of the intentions.
APREC is made aware by Korean unions that they plan to take strike action against the government’s attack on the public sector in the upcoming months and concerned that the unions will face more repression at this time given the worsening situation.
APREC, therefore, recommends that affiliates in the region continue to extend their support and solidarity to the struggle of the Korean affiliates by way of
participation in a trade union rights workshop in Korea
participation in solidarity visits to Korea
Solidarity actions in home countries
Any other actions that may be appropriate at the country level/union level
Share such actions with the Korean affiliates and PSI