Go to contents

Gyeonggi Province Fires 2 Unionized Workers

Posted April. 05, 2010 03:03,   


Gyeonggi Province yesterday said a personnel review committee has fired two civil servants who were former leaders of the Korean Government Employees Union.

Identified by their last names Rah and Lee, the two grade-seven employees at the Anyang city government are known to have taken unauthorized leave from work to conduct union activities.

Rah, who was chief policymaker at the union, was absent from work for 19 days from Nov. 24 to Dec. 21 last year, though he was ordered to return to work after the union was declared illegal in October last year. An Anyang city government source said Rah failed to report to work for 34 days from Dec. 22 to Feb. 12 even after his case was submitted to the review committee.

Lee, who was leader of the union’s Gyeonggi chapter, was also referred to the review committee after taking 21 days off from work without permission in October last year.

The Anyang personnel review committee suspended Rah for three months in January. The Public Administration and Security Ministry requested a tougher punishment, however, saying, “The penalty of suspension fails to assure fairness compared with the punishments for other government employees fired or removed from their posts for being absent from work without notice.”

In a related action, the Supreme Court said yesterday that it sent the court employees’ union an official letter pledging stern action under the law for illegal labor activities conducted by the union in the name of the government employees’ union.

“The Korean Government Employees’ Union pursued illegal activities, including holding an inaugural ceremony, and held protest rallies though not being registered with authorities as a union. The people involved are being investigated and punished,” the letter said.

“The court urges (court employees’ union members) to refrain from committing illegal acts, including putting up banners, distributing fliers, and posting comments on the court’s intranet, in the name of the government employees union.”

A Supreme Court official said, “The Public Administration and Security Ministry requested the court to discipline the activities of the government employees’ union, and the Supreme Court conveyed its position to the union.”

In response, the court employees’ union said, “The government employees’ union is an organization in the phase of establishment, and is not an illegal body. On the Labor Ministry’s rejection of the union’s application for establishment, the union is taking steps toward an administrative lawsuit. The court should not disrupt normal union activities.”

In September last year, the court employees’ union merged with the former government employment union and the Democratic Government Employees Union to form the Korean Government Employees’ Union.

bibulus@donga.com dawn@donga.com