[EDITORIALS]Shameless civil servantsMembers of the Cheongju city chapter of the Korea Federation of Government Employees pulled around a dog wearing a sign that said, “Mayor of Cheongju.” However unsatisfactory the mayor might seem to them, comparing the head of the office where they work with a dog is an insult to citizens and a morally corrupt act.
The reason the mayor is being insulted by the government workers is absurd. He is accused of changing the municipal ordinance that governs municipal office hours and shortens the day in winter to a 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. closing time. In connection with the introduction of bi-weekly five-day workweek system for all government offices in July this year, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs issued a guideline to all local governments to change the winter season closing time to 6 p.m., for the convenience of residents. The mayor followed the ministry’s guideline.
To stay in line with the private sector, government officials inevitablly had to change their winter closing times. Nevertheless, civil servants behaved in such a contemptible manner to obstruct the mayor from carrying out his routine business. It is a dastardly act that denies basic human dignity.
At the moment, some union members refuse to work during lunch hours, claiming that if they follow the Home Affairs Ministry’s guideline, their working hours will be greater than 40 hours a week. There are instances in which unions have put pressure on councils to reenact the changed ordinance. Workers in the private sector live under threat of economic difficulties every day. It is unreasonable for officials, whose jobs are guaranteed until retirement and whose pay derives from taxes, to behave so arrogantly.
Many citizens are angry because they pay for the civil servants who are only interested in their personal gain. Despite their behavior, it is said that the union will stage a general strike in November demanding the right to have collective bargaining.
Before they talk about their union, civil servants should stop engaging in shameful acts.