313개의 게시물을 찾았습니다.
Amnesty International (the S. Korean section) interviews MTU's chairperson...
MWTV's short video report about MIGRANT WORKERS MAYDAY rally in Seoul:
MTU's chairpersons' speech on the Migrant Workers MAYDAY rally in Seoul:
Good afternoon everyone!
In this Mayday celebration, I got inspiration from a story that I have read one time.
Imagine me eating a delicious piece of bread. You saw me enjoying that piece of bread and you can only imagine how delicious it might be because you are starving. I knew that you haven't eaten for a few days but I never wanted to share it with you even if I could buy another one. Instead, I threw it on the floor, spat on it and kicked it towards you. Then I ordered you to eatit. Would you eat it? Would you eat that spoiled bread?
What choice of action you do next, determines who you are. The person who eats that piece of bread no longer has dignity. He is a slave. He will settle for crumbs that are thrown his way and he will feel very thankful for it. Even though he was abused for it. Even if he served for it.
The person whose dignity is intact would not stand for this oppression. The person with dignity will work for that piece of bread with diligence and passion. We can work hard for it so we can earn it. The person with dignity would fight for that bread if they are denied of it. The person with dignity would defend it if someone tries to take it away.
That person is us. The bread is our Rights. We should not beg for crumbs. We should work for our full Rights or fight for it because Rights are not given, they are won.
The more people who work together, the harder we work, the faster we will achieve. Together, we can erase all lines that divide. The regular workers from the irregular workers, the locals from the migrants, the men from the women. We will erase the divide of nationality, religion, skin color and gender. We will stamp out all forms discrimination and racism. We will stand up for our rights and we will be victorious in taking back our dignity.
We are migrant workers, we are not your slaves!
We are workers, workers are one!
Migrant Workers Mayday Declaration
121 years ago, the workers of the first Mayday protest action in Chicago fought for an 8-hour work day. They have not only sacrificed their liberties, they have also lost their lives in the process. The local workers, the immigrants and the women who have followed them in the struggle, have fought hard for their DIGNITY and we have enjoyed the fruits of those sacrifices.
But after fighting a long and hard fought battle, we have failed to defend that victory. The victories that has been achieved are slowly disintegrating because we have allowed ourselves to be divided by those who rule over us. Because of this failure many workers continue to suffer and lose their lives in the workplace. Up to this day, workers have sacrificed and lost their lives to fight for our DIGNITY as human beings.
They have created divisions among us by dividing the regular workers from the irregular workers, locals from migrants, men from women. They have created divisions among nationalities, religion, skin color and gender.
Today, in commemoration of the 121th anniversary of Mayday, we declare that we will move start to put an end to this oppression.
● Today, like the immigrants who have joined and lead the workers movement in the US during the first Mayday, we declare that we, the migrants, will build ourselves from the ground up. We will organize ourselves and we will work hard to arm ourselves with the knowledge of our rights. We will rise up and raise our voices so that we may be heard. We will represent ourselves, and we will work to be recognized not as "outsiders or foreigners" but as "workers" and human beings.
● We declare that we, the migrant workers have contributed and continue to contribute so much to the economy and society and that we will no longer allow ourselves to only be seen as disposable labor. We vehemently refuse to be called criminals or job-stealers and we condemn those who accuse us as such. We condemn the crackdown that has caused death and misery to the migrant workers and our families and we condemn the institutions that murder innocent workers for a piece of paper. We will continue to push for the legalization of ALL undocumented workers because it is not only humane, it is also a practical solution to fill in the labor shortage in the industries.
● We declare that our contributions to the country of destination is not measured by where we come from or on projected investments alone, but on how we invest our skills and labor to build up the economy. We stand up to end all forms of discrimination and end unequal treatment among different ethnic groups. We wish to end a system that blatantly gives preferential treatment to Korean ethnic groups from rich nations while at the same time restricting and depriving those who come from poor nations.
● We recognize the contribution of women like Mary Harris Jones and Yi So-sun in achieving past victories and we believe in the power of women and their motivation. The woman's empowerment is essential to achieve our victory as workers. Hand in hand, we will fight against all forms of violence and discrimination towards women. And as workers, men and women will remain equals.
● We declare that the Employment Permit System that restricts the freedom of workers to improve our working conditions, that binds us to our employers, that makes us disposable, this policy and other such similar policies are the invisible chains that enslaves us. Just as the pioneers of the labor movement in the past has struggled to be free of those metal chains, we will also break the invisible chain of slavery that goes by the name of "Employment Permit System".
● As we give honor to those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, so should we honor the forebears who have sacrificed their lives to gain dignity for all workers. We demand that all workers be guaranteed the right to commemorate Mayday and be assured of their freedom to participate.
● While the working class are given just enough wages to sustain us for the next workday, the profits of the capitalists continue to grow. They earn profit from their products and steal from their workers. We demand for higher wages where all workers can be assured of a decent standard of living. We call to remove discrimination in wages, where locals, migrants and women have different standards of payment for equal or similar work.
● Sanction the registration of the Migrants' Trade Union and stop the oppression on the Union and its leaders!
● Stop the crackdown and deportation and legalize all the undocumented migrant workers!
● Guarantee the complete free travel, stay and employmet of overseas Korean!
● Stop the trafficking of women, discrimination, exploitation and violence against all women including migrants and workers!
● Change Employment Permit System to a Work Permit System!
● Guarantee the Mayday off for all workers!
● Raise the minimum wage and realize equal pay for equal work!
We the migrant workers declare unto this 121th Mayday celebration, May 1, 2011
S. Korea's (conservative/reactionary) newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported last week(4.12) - surprisingly quite impartial - about MWTV's activities:
A broadcast voice for local migrant workers
Soe Thi Ha, left, and Soe Moe Thu sing at a fund-raising concert (...) held by Migrant Workers Television
The band Stop Crackdown, consisting of two Burmese and a Korean drummer, shouted the Burmese phrase “Yelele” at a fund-raising concert held by Migrant Workers Television on March 27 to help a Burmese migrant worker who has lived in Korea for 12 years. Aung Naing Win recently went through a 20-hour surgery to remove cancer from his tongue on Feb. 10 and needs more than 20 million won ($18,441) to pay medical costs.
Stop Crackdown’s vocalist and guitar player, U Soe Moe Thu, 36, is a staffer at Migrant Workers TV, a broadcasting company for migrant workers in Korea.
MWTV’s office in central Seoul might be one of the smallest broadcasting stations in Korea. The office is crowded when more than three people enter but the diversity and energy in the office remains high.
But the concert was just one in many events MWTV has. The station plans to hold fund-raising concerts for children of migrant workers, refugees, migrant women and other minority groups in Korea.
“On the surface, the situation of migrant workers seems better than 16 years ago when they started coming to Korea,” said Soe Moe Thu. “However, while the number of ‘doctors,’ by which I mean government-funded programs for Vietnamese brides or migrant workers, has increased, the number of ‘patients,’ or migrant workers suffering in Korea remains the same.”
Aung Tin Tunh, the current executive of MWTV and the director of the Migrant Worker Film Festival (MWFF) has lived in Korea since 1993, and said MWTV aims to broadcast the opinions of migrant workers to the general audience.
“We want to communicate with Korean society,” Aung Tin Tunh said. “That is why we are broadcasting, holding film festivals and running media-education classes.”
Established in December 2004, MWTV started its “Migrant Workers World” program via cable channel RTV, in 2005. MWTV broadcasts news in 11 languages, including Burmese, Nepali, Korean and English, conveying important information about migrant issues that can be helpful for viewers.
There are currently three employees at MWTV, including Aung Tin Tunh and Soe Moe Thu. Volunteers also help out. The MWFF has been held every year since 2006. Last year, it took place in October and about 900 people participated.
“When we were preparing for the Migrant Worker Film Festival last year, I was the only regular worker,” Aung Tin Tunh said. “Though volunteers helped me during the day, I had to stay up late three to four days a week to direct the film festival.”
Though the films shown at MWFF are not like the high-quality movies produced by prominent Korean filmmakers, MWTV says the movies are meaningful because they reflect migrant workers’ attitudes.
The festival also shows the migrants’ diligence because they produce the films in their off time.
“Since there was no studio last year, we had to record in a room where we could hear noise from the playground outside. However, we have a studio this year after presenting what we do in an competition held by the Beautiful Foundation last year.” Soe Moe Thu said.
To encourage more participation from migrant workers, MWTV conducted two months of media workshops in March 2008. Since then, there have been four workshops, with 50 people completing them.
Though most of them can’t work at MWTV as video journalists since they have day jobs, a few of them shoot videos for special events. But making them attend every Sunday was not easy because that is their rest day.
“We called them every Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday morning. We treated them more carefully than we do anyone else,” Aung Tin Tunh said.
In the near future, MWTV plans to add more languages on their Web site and to broadcast news for migrant workers from their home countries in their languages. Also, it plans to establish a formal journalism course for people wanting to learn how to become writers, photographers or make videos.
“Working as a reporter for MWTV has enriched my high school years,” said Kim Ha-eun, 20, who has been a reporter for MWTV for two years. “It broadened my perspective of the world. I have learned about situations faced by minorities in Korea and their human rights.”
Said Soe Moe Thu: “We might not enjoy the fruits of our labor during our time contributing toward making a Korea in which everyone is respected, regardless of their ethnicity.”
“But if we keep trying with hope, like planting trees, the next generation will surely benefit from our efforts in the end.”
While this report is kinda O.K., JoongAng Ilbo "forgot" (surprise, surprise!!) to mention that in the past several MWTV activists were hunted, detained and deported!!!
This video was funded by Anti-Slavery International and the International Trade Union Confederation
Amnesty International has sent yesterday the following open letter to Lee Kwi-nam, S. Korea's Minister of "Justice" :
Korean Immigration Service must respect rule of law in the case of MTU President Michel Catuira
Amnesty International is greatly concerned that Michel Catuira, Filipino national and President of the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants’ Trade Union (MTU) is being targeted for forcible, arbitrary deportation based on Catuira’s work on behalf of migrant workers’ rights.
Like previous presidents, Michel Catuira has spoken out against restrictions placed on migrant workers’ freedom to change workplaces and immigration raids which have resulted in arbitrary arrests, collective expulsions and the unnecessary or excessive use of force. Amnesty International believes that the current immigration measures against Michel Catuira are the latest attempt by the South Korean government to crackdown on the legitimate activities of the MTU and to prevent migrant workers from freely exercising their rights to freedom of association and to form trade unions. These rights are provided for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and ILO convention No. 135 (on workers’ representatives) to which South Korea, as a state party, is obliged to comply.
Since the MTU was founded in 2005, the immigration authorities have arrested six of its senior officials, five of whom were forcibly and arbitrarily deported. Two of those deported were MTU presidents. Every president’s term has been severely interrupted by measures taken by the Immigration Service, most notably arrest and deportation.
As you are aware, the Seoul 12th Administrative Court issued an injunction on 2 March against the cancellation of Michel Catuira’s visa and permission to change workplace, and the order to leave the country by 7 March. The Korean Immigration Service, by denying an extension of visa status, is defying this temporary Court injunction against the execution of immigration measures that would lead to the deportation of Michel Catuira. Until the appeal case is decided, it must respect the Court’s ruling.
Amnesty International calls on the Korean Immigration Service to immediately remove obstacles preventing migrant workers from participating in trade unions, including the MTU, and to stop the targeting of MTU officials. In addition, we urge the South Korean government to recognize MTU’s status as a legal union in South Korea in line with domestic and international law.
Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action (UA: 34/11) on behalf of Michel Catuira and a public statement (ASA 25/002/2011) calling on the Korean Immigration Service to restore Michel Catuira’s visa status. We continue to call on the Korean Immigration Service to respect the Court injunction by halting all immigration measures while Michel Catuira’s appeal is being heard. This includes restoring Michel Catuira’s permission to change workplace and visa status. We urgently ask for your immediate consideration in this matter.
Deputy Director, Asia-Pacific Programme
A short piece, published in today's ('left-liberal') Hankyoreh:
Up against discrimination
Michel Catuira, chairperson of the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants’ Trade Union (MTU) in South Korea, and South Korean human rights activists urge the government to stop discriminative policy according to race, color and nationality at a news conference in front of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea(NHRC) on Mar. 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
In regards to the Ministry of Law’s rejection to his application for extension of stay on Mar. 18, Catuira said, “It was anticipated, but disappointing.”
Recently a court suspended an execution of the Immigration Office ordering his deportation, accepting the 39-year-old Filipino national’s request for suspension of administrative measure.
Y'day in front of the NHRC: "Legalize MTU!!"
Today's (bourgeois) Korea Times reported the following:
Migrant workers call for fairer treatment
Migrant workers and organizations demanded the government and the Korean people change policies and perceptions discriminative against foreigners.
Michel Catuira, president of the Migrants Trade Union (MTU), speaks during a rally to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, Monday. Some 20 migrant workers and unions criticized the government for discriminating migrant workers.
Dozens of migrant workers and civic group members made the demand at a press conference at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Monday.
``We are people with the same red blood,’’ a banner read in the hands of one of the supporters, as they chanted slogans slamming the government for what they call discriminative polices.
The workers and unions, including the Migrants Trade Union (MTU) led by President Michel Catuira, called for changes and even the abolishment of discriminative policies against them.
Twenty eight year-old Luna was in the crowd of migrant workers, asking for support and making a statement in front of the rally. She came to Korea three years ago from Bangladesh, married a Korean and started a family with high hopes. But even today, she is scared to go out and mingle with Koreans.
``People would first ask me where I’m from. I would say Bangladesh and then they start to say mean things,’’ she said in perfect Korean.
Koreans would make fun of her about her dark skin and the fact that she comes from a poorer country. Getting on public transportations can be a hassle, as many Koreans sneer and look down at her, she said.
Changing policies and bills is important, she said, but probably the most hurtful discrimination for migrant workers and women is from the Koreans they meet every single day.
``There was one time when I went to the hospital to get some physical therapy treatment. The nurse had to put some medical equipment on my arm, but she refused saying that she didn’t want to attach the equipment on me because I had dark skin,’’ she said.
Misfortune continues for immigrants
Humiliated and having no place to go for help, Luna even attempted suicide three times but failed. Being a mother would be the next step in her life plan, but she said she wasn’t sure if she wanted her child to experience the discrimination she went through over the years.
``My husband’s family told me that they were worried our child would have dark skin like me. I would love to have children, but to be honest, I’m not sure I will be able to bear the thought of them being discriminated against,’’ Luna added.
According to MTU, some 79 percent of migrant women are divorced within four years and many of them cite physical and mental abuse as the reason.
While migrant women and fellow migrant workers struggle to change the perception of them on a daily basis, unions and organizations strive to make changes on a larger scale.
For starters, the unions claimed that the government’s plan to lift the illegal status on ethnic Korean Chinese who have been living in Korea for the past 10 years as of June this year, have married a Korean or had children, discriminates against fellow migrant workers from different countries.
``If this plan was made to ease the pain and difficulties to Chinese Koreans, why is it hard to grant equal treatment to other migrant workers who are going through the same ordeal?’’ the unions said through a statement.
Another important issue discussed at the rally was the government’s recognition of the MTU.
``It’s so tiring and disappointing. They don’t recognize the union, which is the only place migrant workers can come for help, guidance and support, and say they need Koreans to explain everything,’’ Catuira said.
The Seoul Administrative Court’s recently granted an injunction allowing Catuira to stay until the final verdict of a legal battle between herself and the Korea Immigration Office. The office sent her notice that she must leave the country as she “pretended to work” at a “fake company” and thus failed to meet the requirements of her E-9 work visa.
For its part, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea also issued a statement regarding the current status of Korea in terms of becoming a multicultural society. It is planning to finalize migrants’ human rights guidelines and propose them to the government this year.
``There are some 1.2 million migrant workers in Korea but we are still very ill-prepared in turning our society into a multicultural one. It is evident that we need to work on how to solve problems and accept the change multiculturalism has brought to society,’’ it said.
☞ 인종차별 철폐의 날 "우리도 똑같은 사람이다" (VoP, 3.21)