[EDITORIALS]Incheon activity intolerableMembers of the Dong-gu Office civil servants’ union in Incheon have blocked a visit by the city’s mayor, throwing salt at him and preventing city authorities from inspecting the administration of the district office. Unfortunately, civil servants, who are the backbone of the country, are engaged in illegal group action. We wonder who will persuade people to follow the law. Their behavior violates civil discipline and is unacceptable ethically. The authorities concerned should investigate the incident and punish those who violated the law. Any recurrence of these violations must be prevented.
The visit of high-ranking officials to local offices has been an accepted practice. Even under local autonomy, it is necessary for local administrators to listen to the plans of lower local offices and talk with residents to understand local problems. Notwithstanding, the union members obstructed the visit, criticizing it as an act of authoritarianism and personal promotion. The humiliation of the official by civil servants leaves us nearly speechless. Separate from this, the same union members prevented a city team from completing the scheduled inspection of the overall operation of the district office. In some other local offices, there are moves to boycott similar inspections. Lower-level offices claim that such inspections run counter to the spirit of local autonomy, but it is only natural that higher-level offices inspect the work they delegate to subordinates. Some claim that overlapping inspections waste local manpower. If there is a problem with the system, they should change it and not boycott.
Since its inauguration the new government has taken progressive stands on legalizing the use of the word “union” in the title of the civil servants association. Civil servants should understand their special status and be a role model for public employees. They should discern what they should do and what they should not do. While their organization is not yet legal, if they stage illegal group action, they are to blame for demonstrating bad behavior. The violators should be investigated and punished as examples so that others will not follow their unwise actions.