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International delegation visits Korea over union persecution

26 September 2016
Korean trade unionists are still struggling against ongoing regressive labour reforms in the country, including the Park Geun-hye government’s imposition of a discriminatory performance-related pay and termination system on public workers.

Korean public sector workers will hold a public sector strike on 27 September that is expected to involve tens of thousands of rail, underground, healthcare, energy and other public sector workers. (See https://goo.gl/YSUXZN)

Following an investigatory mission by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in July this year (see http://goo.gl/pCQfJm), PSI and ITF officials – along with representatives of their affiliated unions the CGT General Union of Civil Servants and CGT Cheminots [France]; CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees; the Rail Tram Bus Union of Australia (RBTU) and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) of New Zealand – will join Korean colleagues in a press conference on Tuesday 27 September at 11:00 at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) office, Kyunghyang Shinmun building, Seodaemun, Seoul.

ITF assistant general secretary Stuart Howard stated: “We are here to stand side by side with our Korean colleagues as they embark on this powerful public sector protest, and to see that this lawful act is recognised and respected. The world will not stand by if the government once again moves unjustly to crush trade unionists and their rights. This strike is about defending quality public services for the public and workers alike, but it is also about defending democracy in South Korea.”

PSI Trade union rights and national administration officer Camilo Rubiano explained: “We’re visiting South Korea because of the severe deterioration of trade union rights and civil liberties in the country. Right now, there’s only one place in the world where our affiliates are imprisoned for conducting legitimate trade union activities: South Korea. We see this and the imposition of a performance-pay system as a clear attempt to punish and get rid of those who obstruct the government’s agenda, paving the way for the sell off and privatization of public services and infrastructure in detriment of all the citizens of South Korea”

PSI and ITF will publish press releases on 21, 26 and 27 September. You can also follow the news on Twitter using the hashtag #UnionRightsKorea and #KoreaStrike4Justice

21 September ITF/PSI Press release:  English Korean

26 September ITF/PSI Press release:  English  -  Korean

Union mission delivers strong statement in defence of Korean public sector workers' strike

Also see