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Federation of Korean Trade Unions Poised to Strike
Worker Unrest
Federation of Korean Trade Unions Poised to Strike
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • July 3, 2015, 07:15
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Ssangyong Motors workers stand in formation, each holding a metal pipe, while they were on strike in 2009.
Ssangyong Motors workers stand in formation, each holding a metal pipe, while they were on strike in 2009.

 

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) has decided to go on a general strike. It announced on July 2 that 442,547 out of its 772,158 members participated in recent voting from June 15 to 30, and 397,453 of them voted for the strike.

The FKTU’s resolution of the strike is the first time in 18 years. Still, the specific timing of the industrial action still remains up in the air. The federation is planning to begin the strike once the government pushes ahead with its labor market restructuring plan for what the federation claims to be easier dismissal of workers and deprivation of their rights. 458,252 members are scheduled to take part in it at 1,403 places of business across the country.

In the meantime, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) is planning to go back on strike on July 15 in less than three months, which signals the possibility of a joint strike by the two organizations.

“The FKTU’s resolution at this time is rooted in not only its objection to labor conditions, but also the lack of political trust, and this means things will not get better unless the government took meaningful action,” said a labor relations expert.