'It’s the people who suffer'
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) announced their plan to go on a nationwide strike, refusing the amendment to labor union laws and requiring the legislation of the so-called yellow envelope bill.
“In a nation where laborers’ safety is not guaranteed, its people’s safety could not be protected either. Without protection of labor rights, there is no safety for laborers," the union said at a press conference Tuesday.
A relay of strikes will take place starting with a strike by the unions of public transportation on Wednesday, followed by cargo drivers on Thursday and non-regular workers of the public sector and schools on Friday. On Nov. 30, the Seoul Metro union will join, ensued by a strike by the union of the nationwide railway on Dec. 2.
The total 100,000 laborers working for public institutions involving transportation, railway, and cargo facilities, airports, hospitals, public schools and more will participate.
What the government and industry is paying attention to is the general strike by the cargo union. The KCTU umbrella union reached a compromise on the extension of applying the so-called “safety freight rates” with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport last June. Then, claiming that the rates have not been respected, they announced another general strike after five months.
The government called an emergency meeting with political parties and announced that they decided to extend the safety rates by three years. However, the cargo union hasn’t withdrawn the upcoming strike.
With this, the administration announced that they will respond based on the law and principles, mentioning possible tremendous damage to the national economy.
#making_things_worse “The entire world is already suffering from a recession, with skyrocketing exchange rates and interest rates.” “Holding a mass rally in this time, when the country is facing another Covid-19 wave and when the Itaewon disaster took place not long ago?”
#be_realistic “They know nothing about laborers’ pain — poor labor conditions with no safety facilities.” “Exploitation and pressure on lowering freight rates… The cargo industry is crying for help as they’re in a hopeless, grave situation.”
#understanding_both_sides “It’s the people who suffer from the inconveniences caused by the strikes.” “The majority of the people are laborers as well. Need to realize how important their role is.”
BY KIM AH-YOUNG, HAN HYE-RIM [email@example.com]
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