KCTU Hits:123900 Recommend:1 2006.11.09 13:42
The following is the speech paper by Jin Young-Ok, Vice-President of KCTU during the founding congress of ITUC.

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Thank you Chair

Comrades.

I would like to extend warm greetings of solidarity on behalf of more than 15 million workers in South Korea on this historic occasion.

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for your consistent interest and solidarity for the improvement of the labor right situation and calling for an end to trade union repression in South Korea. We recognize the significant role the international community such as the ILO plays in pressuring for improvement of labor standards. It is as a result of this pressure and the solidarity provided by everyone of you that we, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions are here at this Founding Congress. So we hope that ITUC can continue to organize mutual support and solidarity amongst its members to challenge the neo liberal globalization. We the KCTU pledge to be part of this challenge utilizing our past experiences and mobilizing our strength..

Trade union and human rights are threatened by neoliberal globalization. The WTO and international financial institutions such as the IMF have already deprived thousands of workers and their families many things such as rights to access to clean water, public services, quality health care, and decent work. The DOHA development agenda has already failed. Even its proclaimed objective to promote "development" in the South is no longer a reality. So, we do not want the WTO or an FTA. We want a labor friendly and equal globalization based on new internationalism. In this process, the ILO's role should be more emphasized and be an effective measure to defend and promote international labor standards and the last resort for defending trade union rights.

In spite of the significance of the ILO, I would to like to denounce any government that neglects the authority and legal capacity of the ILO. The Committee on the Freedom of Association of the ILO has made 13 recommendations to the South Korean government to bring labor laws and industrial relations systems in line with international standards. However, the government has never implemented these recommendations legally and practically. Instead, the government has chosen to intensify trade union rights repression.

Even during the ILO Asian Regional Meeting which was held in Busan, South Korea this year, the government forcibly closed the local union offices of the Korean Government Employees Union. The government continued its efforts to systematically destroy the KGEU by launching a nation-wide raid of KGEU local union offices on September 22.

In addition, on September 11, the South Korean government decided to postpone union pluralism at the enterprise level for another three years under the excuse of needing a transition period and avoiding social disruption.
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