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3 Gov`t Workers Unions to Criticize Administration

Posted June. 23, 2009 09:29,   


Three national unions of government workers are expected to release an official statement this week expressing “deep concern” over the current state of national affairs, a move which is likely to stir controversy in the public sector.

The release of such a statement will violate laws governing unionized government workers and public service that prohibit political activity and collective action by government workers. If the unions decide to push ahead with the statement, massive punishment is expected by the government.

The Korean Government Employees’ Union, the Democratic Government Employees’ Union, and the Court of Justice Employees’ Union will merge into a national union of nearly 130,000 public workers by December. The new union will then join the Korean Confederation of Trade Union.

Unlike in June last year, when the Korean and Democratic government unions issued a joint statement opposing the resumption of U.S. beef imports, the unified union is expected to directly confront the president and his administration instead of a specific social issue.

Consequently, fears are rising that the proposed action could undermine discipline in the public sector.

The three unions issued a joint statement June 10 under the title “The Lee Myung-bak administration should not oppress democracy.” The statement said, “Since President Lee’s inauguration, the nation has repeatedly suffered setbacks. As a result, we face the threat of imminent war, and the democracy built with our sweat and blood is about to vanish before our eyes.”

Korean Government Employees’ Union spokesman Jeong Yong-chan said yesterday, “The heads of the three unions are discussing the contents and format of the statement, which will not significantly depart from the one issued earlier this month.”

It is uncertain whether the statement will bear the signatures of individual union members or be issued under the unions’ names.

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