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철도노동자 총파업! #1

 

Since last Thursday(11.26): Railway Workers Strike in S. Korea


While thousands of unionized railway workers, organized in the Korean Railway Workers’ Union/KRWU, went today on strike for the fifth day, the S.K. "President orders crackdown on railway strike"(
AFP, 11.29) - i.e. "Unionists Face Arrest"(K. Times, 11.30).


At least 16,000 KRWU members are joining the general strike in protest against the company's unilateral annulment of the labor collective agreement(*).
KORAIL CEO Hu Joon-yeong, however, has signaled no hint of compromise unless the union ends the stoppage first, pledging to punish all participants in the collective action(
K. Herald, 11.30).

 


Meanwhile, unionized truck drivers, organized in the Korean Cargo Transport Workers Union/KCTWU, decided today they will refuse to provide alternative transportation for Korea Railroad's (KORAIL) freight service.

 


"KORAIL may be limited in dealing with the situation on its own. We will block the company's attempt at road transport," a KCTWU official stated today in the morning. "We have to join forces to win the fight for all of us. We have also decided to stage our strike following the schedule of the KRWU."

 


Today's
Hankyoreh reported following:


Lee administration takes heavy-handed response to Korean Railway Workers’ Union strike


Police open KORAIL Union leaders investigation as union members continue to demand restoration of their collective bargaining rights


The police opened an investigation into the leaders of the Korean Railway Workers’ Union on Sunday, the fourth day of the strike that was launched in response to the unilateral announcement by the Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) regarding the termination of the collective bargaining agreement.


Observers say the Lee administration’s emphasis on a firm response to the Korean Railway Workers’ Union’s strike is only escalating matters.


An official of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said on the same day, “The police have opened an investigation into 182 union members, including the union’s leaders, in response to charges filed against them by the Korea Railroad Corporation.” The official added, “The police will conduct an investigation in as timely a manner as possible in spite of the fact that the union members have not yet responded to a summons.”


KORAIL has filed charges against five members of the “Committee for Reinstatement” on Sunday, in addition to charges already filed against 182 union members.


In response to a question about the situation raised during the “Advancement of Public Corporations Workshop” held at the Central Officials Training Institute located in Kwacheon City, Gyeonggi Province on Nov. 28, President Lee Myung-bak said, “Citizens are having a difficult time understanding the decision to strike by members of a public corporation while hundreds of thousands of young people are experiencing unemployment.” President Lee added, “We should not compromise with the striking union members.”


A dialogue between the Korean Railway Workers’ Union and KORAIL has yet to take place. The union sent an official letter to KORAIL to request resumption of the collective bargaining agreement, however, as of Nov. 29 it has received no response. Paek Nam-hee, public relations official for the Korean Railway Workers’ Union, said, “The government should not deny our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and should instruct KORAIL CEO Huh Joon-young to restore collective bargaining rights to the union.”


http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/390570.html

 


* More past and updated news reports about the strike you can find on LabourStart!

 

 

 

 

 

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