[EDITORIALS]Return to work immediatelyLG-Caltex Oil union workers, on an illegal strike for nearly three weeks, performed a skit of executing the company’s chairman that replicates the scene of the beheading of Kim Sun-il by militants in Iraq.
They posted a video of the scene on the labor union’s Web site. Even if it is just a parody, it has gone too far. Do the unionized workers at LG-Caltex Oil regard their manager as their enemy? And do they think that Mr. Kim was executed rather than murdered? Their behavior leaves us dumbfounded.
On the Chosun University campus, where the workers are staging a sit-in demonstration, they walked around in slippers, stripped to the waist, and drank at night. So they heard the students complain, “You have come here for recreation? Get out of here right now.”
Though the company’s operations and the whole industry are being damaged by their strike, they seem to regard the walkout as a kind of “vacation.” Before, the LG-Caltex Oil union workers used violence against senior staff members for refusing to participate in the illegal strike, and wrote the word “traitor” on the doors of the houses of workers who did not participate in the walkout.
The workers at LG-Caltex Oil have been treated the best among workers in domestic companies. Blue-collar workers at the firm get 69.2 million won ($59,300) in annual salary on average. In addition, their children’s school expenses through university, and all their medical costs, are paid by the company.
They are also provided with free golf training centers and houses with outdoor pools ― conditions wonderful enough to leave other workers in Korea agape.
It makes no sense for such a “rich” labor union to conduct an illegal strike for an increase in wages, suspending the operation of LG-Caltex Oil for the first time since the founding of the company.
The union argues that “We are demanding not only a wage increase but also the conversion of irregular workers into regular workers and the company’s contribution to the fund for regional development.” But it is absurd.
The issue of the company’s contribution to the regional development fund is not an issue that concerns the union. The LG-Caltex Oil union workers should quit their illegal strike right now and return to work.