2010 Directives of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions]

The KCTU will be at the forefront

to stop labor oppression and protect democracy

 

March 4, 2010

 

Labor rights are essential for democracy

Korea’s Ministry of Labor denied the registration of the Korean Government Employees' Union on March 6, for the third time in three month. Not just for KGEU, the ministry ordered the Korean Construction Workers’ Union (KCWU) to revise their union establishment report, and the Korean Transport Workers’ Union (KTWU) and Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union (KTU) got such orders, too. Almost half the members of the KCTU are about to be illegalized.    

Labor rights constitute the essence of democracy. The Korean government’s plot to destroy labor unions is, therefore, an attempt to tramp the democratic constitution. In this sense, the KCTU’s struggle is not just for protecting union members’ rights but also for reviving the suffocated democracy throughout the society.

 

                 

We will struggle and negotiate at the same time

The KCTU set 2010 major action plans and directives in a recent the Central Executive Committee meeting. The KCTU has set maximizing negotiating power through powerful struggle as the main objective for 2010. That explains why it has decided to participate in the Time-off System Deliberation Council, while the Korean Railway Workers Union, the Korea Cargo Transport Workers' Union, the Korean Construction Workers’ Union and other major organizations determined to unfold an all-out struggle, which includes a general strike. The Korea Metal Workers’ Union has also decided to mobilize support in specific periods.    

The government, ruling and opposition parties, and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions agreed to revise the Trade Union and Labor Relation Adjustment Act in a back-door negotiation last December to prohibit companies from paying full-time union officials and allow multiple unions at the workplace-level with many restrictions posed on their right to bargain. The KCTU Central Executive Committee remains firm against the revision and committed to its re-amendment. The Committee has reaffirmed that its participation in the Deliberation Council was aimed at maximizing negotiating power and rescinding the revised laws. The powerful massive struggle will back up the negotiation processes.

The KCTU will hold a rally that will be attended by about 10,000 unionists on March 27. By April 20, the Federation plans to complete its preparation for a general strike, which is scheduled to take place in late April. Moreover, beyond fighting for wage increase of union members, the KCTU will unfold a nation-wide wage struggle for a minimum wage increase and other measures so that all people can secure basic rights to live.

 

                 

We will judge the Lee government and the ruling Grand National Party at the local election in June.

Across the nation, people aspire to judge the current government and the ruling party. The coming local election in June will be the judgment day. The KCTU will focus our resource to meet the nation-wide aspiration. We strongly believe that it is our mission to deal a blow to the ruling party in the election. In that sense, we will play a central role in gathering all democratic, progressive forces through solidarity, coalition, unity and integration.

 

We will Organize People’s Action to counteract G20 in November.

The Seoul G20 Summit in November should be a stage for people and workers around the world to express their indignation about the unfairness of globalization, not a ceremony to celebrate governments’ achievements. G20 is an antiquated attempt to return to neo-liberalism in an era of crisis it has brought about. Koreans refuse to be spectators to this ceremony. During the G20 period, the KCTU will do everything in our power to stage a massive anti-neo liberalism struggle that will gain attention of people and workers around the globe. To this end, we will prepare to hold People’s Action and be a leader of a great transformation.

 

Government turnover in 2012 is an important mission to KCTU.

Lame-duck effects have already started for the Lee government and the June local election will prove that. In 2012, when the next prudential election is scheduled to take place, we should revive democracy by defeating the current powers. The KCTU will be at the forefront to protect democratic society against unilateral politics of the current government and the ruling party. In that process, we will show our union members and Koreans how the KCTU can meet their aspirations.      
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