Go to contents

Thousands of Striking Civil Servants to Face Heavy Punishment

Thousands of Striking Civil Servants to Face Heavy Punishment

Posted November. 15, 2004 23:08,   


The Korean Government Employees Union went on a strike on Monday to protest the government’s policy towards civil servants’ labor rights. However, a minimal impact on public services has been seen thanks to union members’ limited participation

The Ministry of Home Affairs revealed around 3,300 union members did not show up at work and participated in the strike as of 9:00 a.m. A total of 1,069 came back to work before noon.

Due to its earlier threat to dismiss every striking public worker, the ministry requested local governments to punish all 3,300 union members, including the 1,069 who later came back to work.

However, at a press conference in the student union building at Hanyang University, Seoul, the KGEU claimed, “A total of 45,000 union members from our 77 local branches have shown up at the strike. We will keep fighting for our rights until the last person is left.”

The police arrested 12 out of 47 leading members with warrants for their arrest, including Lee Chang-wha, 43, head of the Goryeong branch, who is under police detention. The police applied for arrest warrants for two other members including Jeong U-wan, 35, the financial chief of the KGEU.

The police also arrested 150 union members at 15 sites across the nation, treating them as criminals taken in an act of crime.

The Public Security Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office on Monday decided to indict the public workers who showed minimal participation in the walkout and deal with every civil servant as criminal cases who was arrested at the scene or who had charges filed against them by the local government.

Hyun-Doo Lee ruchi@donga.com needjung@donga.com