KHMU 20th anniversary celebrate message February, 2018
Opening Speech Text : Adrian Durtschi, Head of UNI-CARE Sector, UNI-Global Union
Dear Brothers and Sisters
I am bringing with me greetings from 20 Million union members from over 900 unions all around the world which are affiliated to UNI Global Union. My name is Adrian Durtschi, and I am the head of the UNICARE sector, the care sector of UNI Global Union. KHMU is in my sector one of the leading union with your power, your knowledge and your fight spirit. You help leading UNICARE as a Global Steering group member.
I am impressed how you are leading in Korea the way for a better future in the care sector. A future, where not the profit is in the middle, to a future where we humans, we worker are the most important.
First of all I want thank my good friend sister Yoo for the great work she did as former president. I missed you. You are inspiring, and I wish you all the best for recovering well soon and I hope to fight soon again with you for a better world. And congratulation for the great work you did for sufficient workforces and quality of the health care industry here in Korea and the World. Let’s applaud together for her great work.
We also need to think about a leader who is not her, about Brother Han which is still in prison. My message to you, brother Han: “Han, you are the president of all trade unionists! We stand in solidarity with you!” My message to the state of Korea is: “If you are a democracy, let Brother Han FREE. It’s crazy, you let the Samsung people free, but not Han. Stop prioritizing the capital, look after your workers and let our president Han and the other trade unionists free.” Let’s be loud together that the government can her us: FREE HAN
I love being with you KHMU. It’s as being with my family. My mother worked in the care sector, my grandmother worked in the care sector, my sister is working in the care sector. They are all union members. So, its not a lie, when I call you brother and sister, I really feel that. And the other thing is, as a young boy, I always wanted to go Korea, with the dream to become a Professional Gamer in Starcraft… But nowadays it’s for me so much better fighting with you for a better future and care system.
And our global fight is so important. Health care system all around the world is changing and in crisis. WHO estimates a workforce shortage of 18 Million in the next ten years. We need between 40-80 Million more care workers in the system and each care worker at least one care-related non-health worker to fit to the demand for good care.
It is up to us as a society to decide, if we want this jobs as high quality jobs which delivers the best quality of services. As jobs with a strong union. Or if we want to end in a world, where care workers are underpaid, have zero hours contracts, are stressed because of the less staff, the turnover is immense, and the bosses oppress the workers. Multinationals are getting more powerful in the care sector every day and people are making more profit with the health of the people. We, the unions, are the only force which can change that and that’s why your congress and your union is so important. You can make the difference, you are the change makers for the good!
But I know you are in good hands here in Korea with your new KHMU President Sister Na SunJa. Congratulation from my side for this honorable job and I am happy to work with you for the wellbeing of the care workers and society in Korea and around the world. Please applaud with me for her. Also I congratulate all colleagues of KHMU here to celebrate the 20th anniversary and you are the right people to be honored of your achievement for improvement of working conditions and quality services for all over the last 20 years.
My message to you for the congress is:
We need to organize ! organize ! organize! Organize the hospitals and the Long-Term care sector for the needs of the workers. And a look around the world shows it is possible. UNI-CARE affiliate E Tu won last year equal pay for care workers and recruited thousands of new members in New Zealand. In Austria, vida and GPA are fighting to lower the 38 hours working week of care workers to 35 hours. UNI-CARE affiliate SEIU from the US won in several states for Homecare workers 15 Doller minimum salary. In Argentina, the union negotiates staffing levels and trains the care workers paid by the employers. In Italy we won a national CBA with all church related care facilities.
And here in Korea, KHMU did a wonderful Job in the LTC sector in a UNI-CARE supported LTC project helped increasing working conditions for LTC workers. And we noticed well, the big win for Eulji Hospital University and Eulji Hospital branches after a successful 47-day strike where you won better working conditions and regularized a lot of the working contracts. That’s inspiring, and I am proud having you as part of the UNI-CARE Family.
Last year, I had also the pleasure to be with a KHMU delegation at the ILO tripartite conference. KHMU was part of the official UNI-CARE workers group representing the care workers and the only Asia member with voting rights at the tripartite meeting in care. Sister Yoo, Brother Kang and Sister Jay did there a wonderful job for you, and together we achieved landmark outcomes for better working conditions and social dialogue. This wouldn’t be possible without KHMU and your daily work for the union. Thank you for that.
Here in Korea you did wonderful work regarding Social Dialogue. With your landmark tripartite dialogue last year, you really made a new history. Your great work in the Job Creation Commission in the health care industry and social dialogue together with Moon Jaein administration and the employers is showing great success. You created together thousands of new jobs, increased working conditions and regulated precarious jobs. This example leads the way for others!
Let’s make a deal. Let’s organize, let’s change the world together. You here in Korea had your revolution last year. You got rid of the corrupted daughter of the dictator. Let’s start together a new revolution. Let’s start together the care revolution worldwide. For quality jobs and quality care. That’s our revolution. And you as strong union will need to lead that movement with us. For that lets organize organize organize.
That’s why I suggest you, let’s do the next regional Asia and Pacific UNI-CARE meeting about Multinational companies, Organising and the Future World here in Korea in the second half of 2018! And led together our care revolution from here outside to Asia and then to the world.
I wish you all the best for the congress and thank you for the chance and honor to be with you, to learn from you and change the world together with you. Thanks you for the hard work and leading the way in our care revolution in the future.