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이랜드.. 투쟁 #1


OCCUPATION!
S.Korean Irregular Workers are Striking Back!


The S.K. semi-official newsagency Yonhap reported just two hours ago: "Thousands of unionized workers at the E.Land Group, a major fashion and retail outlet, continued to walk off their jobs for more than a week Sunday, demanding that the company cancel its decision to lay off more than 900 irregular workers.
   The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), a major umbrella labor group to which the E.Land union belongs, threw its support behind the striking workers, saying that its leadership will join in the protest."


For more details read this (in S.K. bourgeois newspapers):

Strikers occupy E-Land outlets (JoongAng Ilbo, 7.08)

Non-Regular Workers Occupy E-Land Shops (K. Times)


And the "left"-liberal Hankyoreh reports:

E-Land unionists on strike against layoff

 



S.K. independent reports:

이랜드 '전국 타격 투쟁'으로 20여개 매장 문 닫아 (VoP, 7.08)

이랜드 일반노조, 홈에버 월드컵점 무기한 점거 농성!! (P. Times, 7.01)

이랜드 노동자와 연대하는 방식!! (P. Times, pics/videos)

 
MTU about their solidarity activities with the strike:

이주노조, 이랜드 3사 투쟁 연대하다

 


Documentaries/videos by "Hong Gil-dong in the Forest" (숲속홍길동):

"점거!!" - 6.30 홈에버 상암동 매장..

"점거농성투쟁 2~8일차 상황" - 7.1~7.7 홈에버 상암동 매장

 



More about the background of the struggle:

  

Korean commercial workers fight mass dismissals at

ex-Carrefour as new store owners violate takeover agreement (Union Network International, 7.06)


At a press conference in Seoul last Tuesday, trade union confederation KCFTU came out in strong support for the victimised workers in the former Carrefour stores, taken over by Korean retailer E.Land. If they are not reinstated by the retail chain's management, there will be additional store occupations and a call for consumer boycott.


Hundreds of former Carrefour workers have been dismissed by Korean retailer E.Land in a move to avoid giving them permanent employment contracts. The UNI Commerce affiliated trade union KPSU believes that the number of workers put on the street could very soon rise to more than a thousand, and has initiated strong action to stop the dismissals. Reportedly, arrest warrants have already been issued against key worker representatives in what used to be Carrefour Korea.


When the Korean government recently pushed through a new legislation on the status of non-regular workers, unions voiced strong concerns about the risks that employers would misuse it to the detriment of these particularly disadvantaged people. These concerns are now proving to be true as leading retailer E.Land has started a move of mass dismissals of its part-time, temporary and other so-called non-regular workers. Clearly, the company wants to avoid making their contracts permanent, such as the new law requires when they have completed two years of service.


Korea already has one of the highest percentages of non-regular workers in its labour force, and unions consider that the new legislation could continue to worsen the situation. There are clear signs that leading retailers will outsource an important part of their functions, including such groups as supermarket cashiers and other store workers. The labour force would then be provided by outside operators, including companies set up by the retailers themselves to stop the workforce from unionisisng, and to circumvent collective agreements and other regulations.

 
E.Land's brutal treatment of its workers is an extreme example of what can become a general practice unless the unions can stop this, and unless the government respects its obligations to ensure that core International Labour Conventions on workers' rights are respected. Korea was hung out very seriously in the lastest ILO report on violations of freedom of association, and their unwillingness to intervene against E.Land will only make matters worse.
The E.Land workers and their trade union are now carrying out a desperate struggle to save the jobs and livelihoods that have been put at risk by a cynical management. Ironically enough, the E.Land founder and his management team characterise themselves as new-born Christians and have tried to define their corporate culture in this way. Apparently, their knowledge of the religious ethics that they confess themselves to are rather shallow.


In the meantime, so-called in-store picketing started in one of the E.Land hypermarkets last Tuesday, with workers blocking all entry. To support the struggle of these disadvantaged workers, most of whom are women with family responsibilities, Korean trade union confederation KCTU has now stepped in. If a solution is not found fast, the store occupations will spread to the whole E.Land network, with support of other unions as well. Also a consumer boycott is in the makings. In anticipation of this, one may expect a stronghand response from the company and from the government - although government authorities have admitted that E.Land's dismissals are indeed illegal. But an intervention in favour of the workers has not been seen..


http://www.union-network.org/unicommerce.nsf/0/25C1A95252528A07C12573100033436D?OpenDocument 

 

 

 

 

KCTU sources:

뉴코아노동조합

민주노총/일반노동조합

 

 

More pics you can see here (다함께):

[7월 8일] 뉴코아-이랜드 공동 투쟁 

[6월 30일]홈에버 월드컵몰 점거 파업

[6월 28일] 이랜드일반노동조합 투쟁 승리를 위한 문화제

[6월 24일] 뉴코아·이랜드 3차 공동파업

 

 

 




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