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Govt.: Illegal Strikes Need to Be Dealt with Immediately

Govt.: Illegal Strikes Need to Be Dealt with Immediately

Posted May. 06, 2003 22:06,   


Illegal strikes that disrupt social order should not be tolerated, President Roh Moo-hyun said on Tuesday. He criticized related cabinet ministers for failing to deal with the illegal strikes by the Pohang branch of the Korean Cargo Workers Federation (KCWF).

Choeng Wa Dae spokeswoman Song Kyung-hee quoted the president as saying at a cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on that day that "the supply of POSCO raw materials hampered by the trade union could have a huge impact on the Korean economy and social order. The problem should be resolved immediately."

Unionists blocked off one of POSCO’s main gates to hamper the delivery of raw materials to subcontractors.

During the meeting, the president reproached Construction and Transportation Minister Choi Jong-chan, and the government’s Administration Minister Kim Doo-kwan, for not bringing such an important item up at the meeting and not fully getting a handle on the present situation concerning the strikes. Through another channel, the president is reported to have received a full briefing on the strikes.

"Until the situation worsened, I didn’t receive any reports from related ministers,” said President Roh. “Disruption of social order by a private organization means a threat to the security of the nation. What are the ministers doing?"

"Attempting to solve civil complaints through dialogue is one thing and to take measures after investigating the situation is another. Related ministries should enact decisive measures towards those responsible," the president said. He also ordered the related ministers to hold a meeting on that day to work out countermeasures.

At the request of the president, Prime Minister Goh Kun chaired a ministerial meeting with the finance-economy minister, the justice minister, the commerce-industry-energy minister, the labor minister and the construction and transportation minister. At the meeting, the participants decided to punish those responsible for the strikes according to law and set up a consultation committee for dealing with the issue.

Senior Secretary for Policy Planning Kwon Ok-kyu, Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs Moon Jae-in and Chief of the National Police Agency Choi Ki-moon were also present at the meeting.

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com