Unethical behaviorEthics underpin progressive civic organizations. The power to persuade the public and lead organizations stems from having a proven moral base.
Even when conservatives are in power, progressives still have a place in society because such moral sincerity is respected as important for social development.
So when progressive organizations behave unethically they are bound to lose the people’s trust and be ruined. The head of an environmental foundation, for instance, was found to have been involved in bribery and the foundation is now floundering.
Recent allegations reveal that a high-ranking member of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions attempted to sexually assault a female unionist.
The case surfaced after an insider filed a lawsuit. This puts the organization in jeopardy and harms society in its entirety.
The umbrella organization has in the past called for the protection of women’s rights and the elimination of sexual harassment in workplaces. The fact that one of its leaders attempted rape seriously injures the organization.
There is also suspicion that the leadership tried to cover up the case and collaborate with the accused. The KCTU admits that the leadership did not investigate the case, let alone report it to the police, until weeks had passed.
The prosecutors’ investigation will uncover the truth, but according to the victim, KCTU leaders pressured her on multiple occasions to lie. They said that she should make a false statement to the police because if the truth were uncovered the organization would be seriously damaged.
This makes the KCTU no different from gangs that have no ethics or conscience. We have to ask if such an organization is qualified to campaign on behalf of workers and to work for the country’s economic recovery.
The KCTU has fired the person in question and accepted resignation letters from several leaders. However, this is not enough.
The organization must apologize sincerely to its 800,000 members and the people, and all the leaders must resign. It must sue the attacker rather than simply letting him go.
The KCTU’s members are the only ones who can save the organization. All of its sub-organizations must hold a conference of representatives, elect new leadership and draw up plans to reform the organization.
The KCTU must become a labor organization that listens to the people and works to protect workers’ rights and interests.