[EDITORIALS]No time for another strikeThe Korea Government Employees’ Union ordered its members to an all-out strike starting at 9 a.m. today. Despite strict warnings of repercussions by the government, the union seems determined to stick to its plans. The first-ever government employees’ strike, which the majority of the public opposes, is expected to cause considerable commotion. There is fear that administrative services will be paralyzed or slowed down significantly at central and local government agencies.
As we have repeatedly stated, this is not a time for government employees to be walking out. There are countless young college graduates who aren’t able to get jobs, and the overall number of unemployed people is rising. Even food vendors have staged a street rally, throwing pot lids to protest the state of the economy. This is how bad our economy is.
The political community is at odds over four legislative bills presented by the Uri Party and acts oblivious to the needs of the people. Even should the public and the government employees work hard, the economy might not get better soon. In many ways, our country is in a difficult situation. For government employees, with their special identity and their guarantee of a lifetime job, to go on a strike and allegedly even study the juche philosophy of North Korea is absolutely incomprehensible.
The union claims that it is striking because it wants the right to go to strike. Even without that right, it is already violating several parts of the law on public servants. Imagine what it would do if it were indeed given the right to strike legally. Members would forget that they are here to serve the public and run out into the streets in protest whenever they felt like it.
This walkout is largely the fault of the government. By providing a legal basis for the government employees to form a union, a legal basis that is not found in most other countries, the government has given the union false hopes that it could get even more.
The government must prevent the walkout from creating a vacuum in administrative services. It must pay special attention to those services, tending to the public. It must firmly discipline the employees who led or participated in this illegal walkout. We urge the government employees’ union to reconsider its walkout before the situation reaches a dead end. Do not make the public uneasy and uncomfortable with this walkout.