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Gov’t Workers’ Union Maligned for Joining Umbrella Group

Gov’t Workers’ Union Maligned for Joining Umbrella Group

Posted September. 26, 2009 07:51,   


A backlash is brewing against the consolidated union of government employees for its plan to join the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.

Several provincial governments took heavy disciplinary action yesterday against union members who signed an anti-government statement in July. The Public Administration and Security Ministry began revising laws to prevent public servants from participating in political activities.

Several chapter heads of government employees’ unions in Busan resigned in protest of the union’s entry into the hard-line umbrella union.

South Gyeongsang Province yesterday said it will punish 11 union chapter heads, including Park Yi-je, head of the province’s chapter of the Korean Democracy Government Employees’ Union, for participating in anti-government protests and placing political ads in newspapers in July.

Daegu also gave a three-month suspension and demotion to Gwak Gyu-un, the head of the Daegu-South Gyeongsang chapter, for the same reason Sept. 9.

Busan will hold a personnel committee meeting to discipline 16 union members Tuesday, and Gyeonggi Province will also punish 12 union members soon.

The ministry ruled as illegal the vote of the three government employees’ unions for joining the hard-line confederation and began revising laws to prevent political action by public servants. A provision banning such activities by officials will be put into a law on government employees’ unions.

The definition of political activities for public servants will include open opposition to government policies.

Hwang Gun-soo, head of Busan`s Gangseo chapter of the Korean Democracy Government Employees’ Union, resigned yesterday in protest of his union’s joining of the confederation. In a letter posted on the union homepage, he said, “The union’s decision to join the umbrella group through members’ voting is against my will.”

Park Hong-jo, head of Busan`s Yeonje chapter, resigned for the same reason Wednesday.

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