FTA strike illegal, harmfulThe Korea Metal Workers’ Union decided to go on strike from June 25 to 29 to protest the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. The union chose to create a face-to-face confrontation just one day after the government called it an “illegal strike” and announced that it will deal with it sternly.
The suppliers and cooperating companies to those industries called for restraint, and even the union’s rank-and-file members were against a strike. What is the union aiming for? Their recklessness makes us wonder. What nerve they have! Do they want to ruin everything?
Hyundai Motor union is the core of the Korea Metal Workers’ Union. But its members oppose the decision made by their leaders. This shows that the leaders are in a desperate situation. “We had too many political strikes,” said a union member who declined to be identified. “I get criticized at meetings with friends and relatives. If they want a strike, then the leaders should do it by themselves.”
Rank-and-file union members do not trust their leaders anymore and directly oppose their decision. Some have doubts about the structure of the union system. Depending on the industry, some firms’ labor unions are actually linked with other unions in the same industry and act as one union.
At this point, the question is not whether to strike, but to consider having the leaders of the Hyundai union and Korea Metal Workers’ Union resign.
Without a doubt, this strike is illegitimate. Protesting against the Korea-U.S. FTA is not a cause for a strike. The strike did not even go through the voting process. In a word, the minority group of hardliners are forcing the majority members to go on an illegal strike. The Korea Metal Workers’ Union has 230 companies with 143,000 workers as members, including Hyundai Motor and three other auto makers. It is the biggest labor union in Korea. Such a symbolic union is about to disregard the law and dig its own grave.
They have been asked kindly, and sometimes warned, but are continuing with the suicidal conduct. To keep the rule of law, the government has to take proper measures to stop them. There is no compromise. Union members should stop being controlled by the hardline leaders and decline what is wrong. Now, more than 500,000 youngsters are unemployed. There is no reason to support a a strike that reduces jobs. Let the law deal with the masterminds of this illegal strike.