UNI WEB stands in solidarity with embattled Korean unions
KPWU President Kim Myeong-Hwan addressed the UNI World Executive and updated the members on the situation in Korea for the Labour Movement, including strike action and moves towards joing the ILO.
Brother Kim also thanked UNI GS Philip Jennings and UNI Apro Regional Secretary Chris Ng for their support.
The UNI World Executive responded with a message of solidarity which included a call for responsible dialogue to solve the North Korea issue:
The UNI World Excecutive Board expresses its grave concern over the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula fueled by North Korea’s missile and nuclear testing programmes and the belligerent and irresponsible response of US President Donald Trump.
We note that the North Korean regime presents an imminent threat to world peace but we are encourgaged by the unanimous decision by the UN Security Council, in September, to impose new sanctions aimed at a de-esclation of tensions. We believe that these measures will help open the way to dialogue and a diplomatic solution. We call for a comprehensive negotiated settlement to achieve a stable environment for social and economic development in Northeast Asia.
At the national level, we declare our committed support to the Korean Media Workers unions in their struggle to protect workers’ rights and freedom of speech.
We pledge our unanimous support and solidarity for the NUMW-KBS and MBC strike action, which started from 4 September 2017, to call for a full investigation of the previous government’s intervention, which included blacklisting and pressuring workers over several years.
We join the NUMW and the Korean Trade Union Movement in calling upon the Korean Government to:
• Reinstate the dismissed workers of MBC immediately
• Condemn the KBS/MBC Management for abusing the human and trade union rights of their employees, including blacklisting workers and interfering in the editorial independence of the broadcaster, contrary to the collective bargaining agreement.
• Initiate tripartite dialogue between the management and the Korean trade unions to explore a consensus to manage the crisis, and resolve the dispute. Conflict resolution will only be reached by creating a positive environment for management and unions to work together to tackle the challenges in the industry.
We congratulate President Moon Jae-In on his election as President of the Republic of Korea. We believe the newly formed Moon Jae-In government, born from the power of the candlelight vigil movement, will respect the voices of workers in society by upholding and applying worker-friendly policies that reflect the critical contributions of employees and respect them as human beings.
We ask President Moon Jae-In to further show his commitment to justice and decent work by ensuring that the President of KCTU Han Sang-gyun is freed immediately. Bro Han and more than 20 of his trade union colleagues were wrongfully imprisoned for exercising their legitimate right to protest, under former President Park Geun-hye’s corrupt regime.