Group asks for better whistle-blower supportThe civic group People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy held a press conference yesterday to petition the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission to protect the blacklisted workers who have served as whistle-blowers exposing corruption and child abuse in day care centers.
The civic group during the press conference held in Seodaemun District, western Seoul, asked for protective measures for five workers from Daegu’s Lira day care center and three from Bangrim day care center, Pyeongchang, Gangwon. When the workers testified about incidents of child abuse and managing irregularities in this year’s large-scale investigation into corruption in day care centers, they were put on a hiring blacklist by day care owners and directors.
The list reportedly was circulated among day care owners and managers, despite the fact that the compilation of such a list and the disclosure of the whistle-blower’s identity could result in stern punishment. The five workers quit their job in Daegu’s Lira day care center after they had protested against inhumane operations such as feeding 10 children with one banana and cramming 50 children into a van with a capacity of 15 people.
Despite the growing public outcry over the blacklist circulation, the workers on the list are still suffering from unfair treatment. “The Lira day care center manager circulated a blacklist to hinder the teacher’s re-employment. After being re-employed, I was immediately dismissed,” said one of the blacklisted workers during the conference yesterday. Pyeongchang’s Bangrim day care workers reported the manager’s embezzlement of government subsidies and public funds. The manager was soon dismissed, but when the new manager came, the three workers were fired.
In the petition for protective measures, the blacklisted workers asked the civil rights commission to punish those involved in making the blacklist.
BY KIM SO-HYUN, KWON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]