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KGEU Canceling Its General Strike.

Posted November. 17, 2004 23:05,   


The Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) suspended its plan to organize a general strike on Wednesday and decided to resume its strike next Friday, the day a general strike will be launched by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.

The KGEU revealed on the same day, “The on-location walkout is practically wrapped up. The 1,000 striking union members who are sporadically conducting rallies in Seoul are getting exhausted. Considering the situation, the KGEU decided to hasten its plan to organize itself at the site in order to resume its strike on the same day with a general strike held by the KCTU and an all-out campaign by the Federation of Korean Trade Unions,” it added.

The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs and each local government will push for taking disciplinary measures against all striking workers regardless of the cancellation of the strike.

The Home Ministry announced each local government individually assessed the number of public workers who will face heavy punishment, such as dismissal from work, at 2,488, including six civil servants from the central government. Authorities are already taking steps to punish 1,062 of them.

The Home Ministry announced, “Since local governments have separately conducted the final assessment on the number of striking workers, the number can change.”

So far, Wonju City in Gangwon province has 395 civil servants, the largest number, whom authorities have already been taking steps against to implement disciplinary measures.

The Ministry will allow exceptions in the process of deliberation on punishment if workers who showed up at work after 9 a.m. on Monday, the day of the strike, can provide provable explanations on their lateness, such as a hindrance to attendance by co-union members, traffic jams, and personal emergencies.

Ulsan city’s North Ward Chief, Lee Sang-beom (member of the reform-driven Democratic Labor Party), revealed, “The Home Ministry’s order seriously disturbs local government autonomy. I would not comply with their order.”

The chief emphasized, “The Ministry is defying the authority of the heads of local governments according to the Local Government Employee Law since it sent its detailed directives stating the subject and level of punishment to each local government.”

Meanwhile, the police arrested five union members, including the KGEU’s policy planning director, known as Kang, 38, with arrest warrants and revealed that as of Wednesday it held three union members for questioning after rounding up 19 members out of 55 for whom arrest warrants had been issued.

A source from the police said, “Regardless of the cancellation of the strike, cases now under investigation will be processed according to schedule by issuing a subpoena and arresting relevant union members. The investigation into 186 workers taken to police stations will be carried out according to law and principles.”