MBC union workers vote to strike next month

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MBC union workers vote to strike next month

Unionized workers of Korea’s public broadcaster MBC on Tuesday voted to go on strike early next month demanding the resignation of its president and CEO over his alleged political meddling in news production, the union said.

The union said it took a vote of its members from Thursday to Tuesday to decide whether or not to stage a strike and 93.2 percent of the 1,682 members who took part in the strike voted in favor of it.

“This is the highest-ever consent rate for a general strike in the union’s history,” the union said.

Some 400 reporters, TV producers, camera journalists and announcers have been boycotting news production and demanding the resignation of their CEO Kim Jang-gyeom.

Kim has come under fire for using his influence to produce newscasts favorable to the former Park Geun-hye administration.

The strike, if realized, would be the first by MBC workers in five years. The union walked out for a full 170 days in 2012 seeking the resignation of the company’s then-CEO and President Kim Jae-chul and freedom of journalism.

On Monday, two unions of the nation’s largest public broadcaster KBS announced that their members will start a general strike on Monday and on Thursday, vowing to fight until the company’s CEO and president, Ko Dae-young, steps down for the same reason.

The executives have denied the allegations and resisted mounting calls to resign.

Earlier on Tuesday, MBC sent a letter to its workers urging them not to participate in the “politically motivated” strike.

“Pulling down an executive appointed according to the law and procedure is a behavior destroying the rule of law and democracy,” the letter said.

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