Go to contents

Pohang Strike Ends After 82 Days

Posted September. 21, 2006 05:59,   


The general strike that had been waged by Pohang Region Construction Union for 82 days since June 30 has ended. As a result, in dozens of construction sites inside steel mills of POSCO, construction works will be started from September 21.

On September 20, with 1,633 union members participating, the union conducted a vote on whether to accept a tentative agreement reached by labor and management last month and whether to end the strike. It was adopted with 1,104 people (67.6 percent) saying ‘yes’ while 519 said ‘no.’

In the first round of voting on September 11, the agreement was rejected and at the second round of vote on September 13, the vote didn’t carry out because it was hindered by some branches under the union.

Although the agreement was adopted though the form of vote, the union had already lost the momentum for strike as growing number of union workers crossed the picket line including about 1,400 union workers, which is close to half of the entire union membership of 3,000, appeared at the construction sites of POSCO to work.

As the agreement was approved, the union has lost its vested right to supply daily workers exclusively, as the provision has changed to, ‘Try not to give unfair treatment to union members’ from ‘union members should be employed ahead of other workers,’ which was adopted as mandatory requirement since collective agreement between labor and management in 2002.

On that day, the mayor of Pohang, Park Seung-ho, said in ‘the letter to Pohang citizens’, “The city of Pohang was dealt a crippling blow by the unprecedented strike that had drawn the international attention as the headquarters of POSCO, which is the backbone industry of Korea, was taken.” and appealed, “Let’s join hands to get rid of stigma as a strike-stricken city and to reinvent the city as business-friendly place.”