Australian solidarity with Korean workers

This video from the USA says about itself:

30 Dec 2013

Rail workers in South Korea went out on strike on 9 December 2013 in an attempt to stop the privatization of KORAIL, the state-owned rail system. On 22 December, under instructions from South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, 5,000 riot police raided the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) in an attempt to capture the leaders of the strike. While the leaders eluded them, the police arrested more than 120 unionists in the building.

This video shows footage of that attack and of an emergency rally called on 27 December at the Korean Consulate in San Francisco, in conjunction with other protests at Korean embassies and consulates around the world, to coincide with a one-day national general strike called by the KCTU the following day.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 11 January 2014


THE AUSTRALIAN Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has rallied with other Australian unions to increase worldwide pressure on the South Korean government to cease its brutal attacks on rail workers’ human rights.

Major Australian unions pledged solidarity with the Korean Railway Workers Union (KRWU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) during protests outside South Korean consulates in Melbourne on Wednesday, January 8th, and in Sydney last Thursday, January 2nd.

The KRWU’s 23-day strike against rail privatisation resulted in 4,600 riot police backing 900 SWAT Squad enforcers in a violent invasion of the headquarters of the peak KCTU as the government agencies hunted the nation’s union leaders.

The strike ended on New Years Eve with a compromise on better consultation with the KRWU over the future of Korea’s government rail system.

But mass protests continue because the government has refused to withdraw arrest warrants against 35 KRWU officials, charges against 130 unionists arrested in the raid or cease a $7.5 billion lawsuit against the KRWU over action it deemed illegal.

Australian union leaders have put the government of President Park Geun-hye on notice that South Korean diplomatic posts and possibly companies would face continued protests until all legal action and any penalty against the strikers was ruled out.

AMWU Assistant Secretary Glenn Thompson addressed a lunchtime rally on Wednesday outside the Melbourne consulate on the eve of a second general strike in Seoul, which follows a street protest by 100,000 South Koreans two weeks ago.

Thompson said South Korea’s government would never gain international respect or standing until it started behaving like a ‘true democracy’ and respecting workers’ human rights.

‘South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye may openly admire the late Margaret Thatcher but she should know her government has been condemned worldwide by SIGTUR (Southern Initiative on Globalisation and Trade Union Rights), The Council of Global Unions and Amnesty International,’ he said.

Joining the AMWU were the Maritime Union of Australia, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union.

ACTU president Ged Kearney, praised the courage of 7,900 strikers of the KRWU before delivering a letter to the South Korean Consulate in Melbourne demanding all legal action be withdrawn.

She said no worker or union official exercising their right to strike should have to face the intimidation of the kind ordered by the South Korean government of President Park Geun-hye.

The strike was sparked by majority private ownership of KORAIL’s new bullet train extension from Seoul to Pusan, which the KRWU fears will spearhead the gradual privatisation of the government system.

‘What the anti-privatisation action of the rail workers did was cause an extreme government to rear its ugly head, a government intent on breaking workers and violating human rights,’ Kearney told protesters.

Fire in South Korean nursing home kills 21. By Ben McGrath, 29 May 2014. The nursing home lacked basic fire safety measures and was badly understaffed: here.

THOUSANDS of anti-government protesters marched in cities across South Korea yesterday, denouncing the labour policies of increasingly unpopular President Park Geun Hye: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

8 thoughts on “Australian solidarity with Korean workers

  1. SOUTH KOREA: A fire believed to have been started by an 81-year-old dementia patient blazed through a hospital ward for the elderly yesterday and killed 21 people from smoke inhalation.

    The fire at the Hyosarang Hospital in Jangseong county also injured seven people and raised concerns about lax fire regulations.

    Hospitals for the elderly are not required to have sprinklers in South Korea.


  2. Pingback: Five years South Korean jail for blogging? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Oppressed Korean teachers don’t give up | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Koreans protest against corrupt government, worldwide solidaity | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: South Korean corruption and economic problems | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: South Korean general strike today | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: British trade union banner art | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: South Korean workers fight for their rights | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.