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Hyundai Motor Union Members Against Strike

Posted June. 18, 2008 04:14,   


As the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions announced that it would wage a general strike to express its opposition against U.S. beef imports and Hyundai Motor Company’s labor union reiterated that it would participate in the strike, members of the Hyundai Motor union have resisted.

Yoon Hae-mo, head of the motor company’s union, held a press conference Tuesday and announced, “When umbrella groups of the confederation and the Korean Metal Workers’ Union decide to start a walkout, unions should follow the decision.”

When the Hyundai Motor union put the issue to a vote Tuesday, it did not gain a majority vote. But, union leaders argue that the issue is passed since 57 percent of voters agreed to the strike and the decision of all union members is important in an industry-level union.

As the motor company’s union is known to wage strikes, its Web site and the labor union office have been flooded with critical calls and messages.

Some members of the Hyundai Motor union are even considering not participating in the strike, saying, “According to the regulations, it is certainly voted down. If the leaders recklessly force union members to participate in a walkout, they will face much stronger resistance.”

The Hyundai Motor union is scheduled to hold a vote to decide whether to wage a strike and urge management to raise wages for two days from June 26.

If it is passed, the union will be able to participate in the strike suggested by the confederation from July 1 after a 10-day adjustment period. In that case, the union is expected to take part in the strike on July 2 when the umbrella union is scheduled to hold a general strike.

Meanwhile, Korea Confederation of Trade Unions President Lee Seok-hang held a press conference Tuesday and announced, “We decided to wage a general strike through which all factories belonging to the confederation will close and urge the government to hold renegotiations on U.S. beef imports on July 2.”

He added, “We designated July as the month of conflict. Industry-level unions and trade unions belonging to workplaces will come to Seoul to express their opinions from July 3 to 5. Industry-level unions will start a general strike and conflict with all means in their power.”

The confederation is set to wage a general strike immediately if the government reports import hygiene conditions for U.S. beef in the official gazette or exercises public power to neutralize the strikes of the Korea Cargo Workers Union and the Korea Federation of Construction Industry Trade Union.

Bulletin boards on the confederation’s homepage are also full of opponents criticizing its political strike.

The government released a ministerial statement, saying, “The confederation`s general strike is an illegal political strike, which has no relation with improving working conditions. If the organization keeps conducting illegal activities, the government will deal with union members in accordance with laws and regulations.”

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