Turning a blind eyeAn increasing number of people have started wondering about the raison d’être of a government after watching the Moon Jae-in administration’s negligence of the extreme violence exercised by members of a truckers’ union under the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) against non-union members. The umbrella union’s illegitimate strike against SPC Group — the largest bakery franchise in Korea, famous for its Paris Baguette outlets — constitutes a serious violation of the law. But a bigger problem is a government that left unattended a critical situation where the bakery outlets suffer from a lack of distribution caused by the union’s strike coupled with their deepening woes from the Covid-19 pandemic.
It all began with a battle for more profitable routes between unionized truckers and non-union members to deliver to the franchised outlets. After their demand was not met in negotiations, unionized members refused to distribute baked goods and materials from Sept. 2. As a result, the SPC Group had to spend hundreds of millions won a day to hire independent truckers to replace unionized members.
After the outlets expressed their outrage — and after the franchise headquarters demanded compensation from trucking companies — the KCTU started to retaliate in a reckless way. After its brazen demand for compensation from the headquarters in return for a withdrawal of the strike, the umbrella union expanded its strike nationwide from Sept. 15.
Such unruly behavior by the KCTU during a liberal administration rings alarm bells. Its members even intentionally damaged a truck driven by a replacement driver. The police believe the move was designed and put into action by the KCTU at the risk of the life of an innocent truck driver.
Another replacement truck driver was stopped and beaten by scores of KCTU members. In the face of deepening economic difficulties facing mom-and-pop store owners, small merchants and the self-employed, the combative umbrella union is engrossed with tormenting innocent people to protect its own interest.
After the bakery outlets threatened to not use trucks owned by KCTU members, they staged an unlawful rally to block the delivery of materials from factories across the country. As the ingredients are delivered to not only those outlets but also to other bakery shops, such an act hurt many. We hope the government, which owes much to the KCTU in elections over the years, stops turning a blind eye to outrageous acts and brings them to justice before it’s too late.