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|News from Korea: Daewoo Joinst Struggle Headquarters|
[News from Korea] Now, Korea is a battle ground by the riot police of the Kim Dae-jung Government (who won the Novel Peace Prize last year.) Newsletter for international solidarity and international reporting about Daewoo Struggle.
The First Newsletter [March 1st, 2001]
Hi, I'm Patch
A, a member of Daewoo Joinst Struggle Headquarters. We send you this newsletter
out of a sense of urgency. The workers at Daewoo Motors have been on strike
against the lay-offs of 1750 workers since the 16th of February.
on the Daewoo Struggle:
Daewoo workers need you Support!!
The Daewoo workers have declared an all out struggle against the largest lay-offs ever in Korea, amidst brutal suppression from the government. The workers of Daewoo Motors had already been several strikes on and off during the last 9 months, but the struggle reached its peak on the 16th of February as the union announced an indefinite general strike against management's official announcement that 1,750 workers would be layed off. The management had made some revisions to its demands, for example, insisting that 400 of the 1,780 will be given 2 year leave without wages, but the union did not make any compromises.
The management has shut down the Bu-pyung plant where all of 1,750 to be laid off are working, but the union has called for the workers to keep working, organize education sessions and struggles. The police sent 2,000 riot police to the Bu-pyung plant and blocked the gates to prevent the workers who, having received their 'pink-slips' by post, came to the plant to join the demonstrations. Family members of the laid-off workers have also come to the plant in anguish to join forces with the striking workers. The management hired 300 'security' thugs to fight the workers, and on 19th February, the government took affirmative action and sent thousands of riot police to the plant to bread up the strike. The police thoroughly ignored the children of the workers who had come hanging on their mothers' backs, broke through the gates and forcefully dispersed the workers, causing many injuries.
After the suppression of the struggle at the Bu-Pyung plant, the workers are now out on the streets. On the 20th, 2,000 workers and students demonstrated at the Bupyeong Station and fought vigorously with molotov cocktails. They continued onto the next day. But the police closed off and blocked the demonstrators even before they had commenced. The demonstrators instead ran onto the highway and marched approximately 2km towards Seoul. On the 23rd, one worker who could not bear out the burden of being laid-off committed suicide. On the 24th, the police once again chased the workers and students who were trying to come together at the Bu-pyung Station. Some demonstrators were even driven onto the rails and were injured. The demonstrators then took over a road but were chased again into a nearby university and fought until dusk. 8 buses with supporting workers and family members also joined the barricades. More than 2,000 workers fought around the country the same day.
We are witnessing
once again, how the economic crisis is brought on and used by the capitalist
to throw workers onto the streets, weaken workers' power and bloat the
wealth in their pockets. The brutality of the riot police brought out
once again the essence of the Kim government, who came into power with
sweet advertisements of democracy, as he shattered all hopes and
the struggles at the plant, KCTU and other progressive organizations have
formed Daewoo Motors Joint Struggle Headquarters to assist the workers
struggles at the same time calling for the arrest of the Daewoo chairman,
Kim Woo-Chung. Early morning on 9th February, 50 members of 'Daewoo Motors
Joint Struggle Headquarters Arrest Squad'
continues as the Joint Struggle Headquarters has organized daily demonstrations.
The struggle is gaining strength as more and more workers, students, and
activists are joining the demonstrations. The struggle moved to Seoul
today, as about 3000 participants gathered to denounce the government's
Your solidarity and interest would be a great help to the workers' struggle in Korea. Please send your words of solidarity to the Daewoo Motors Joint Struggle Headquarters
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Second newsletter [March 8th, 2001]
Korea, The Press Interview by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
1. As all
of you native and foreign reporters, who came to cover the Daewoo affairs,
have witnessed, Bupyong and Daewoo Motor Co. is now under a vigilance
state without the actual proclamation of martial law.
2. But we
will firmly maintain the Daewoo Motor struggle and extend it nationally
and internationally for the withdrawal of Kim Dae-jung's political power
which has ruptured the living rights of laborers and the people by the
structural regulation of neo-liberalism and layoffs, the disappearance
of reformation policies beginning with 3 big reformation legislations.
3. We would
like to ask President Kim Dae-jung. What is the intention of creating
a vigilance state of stationing about ten thousand policemen in order
to force the operation of Daewoo Motor? Whatever the disposal situation
of Daewoo Motor, it will be impossible in a guard of ten thousand policemen.
4. The results
of the neo-liberalism of 3 years worth of Kim Dae-jung's political power
has only left a great gap between the rich and the poot, foreign outflow
of essence enterprises and also the rupture of the lives of laborers and
the people. And the reformation policy of the big 3 reformation legislations,
the abolition of the national security law, human rights committee law,
preventing social decays and so on are at miss. The Korean Confederation
of Trade Union insists that if President Kim Dae-jung doesn't stop dismissals
focused on structural regulation and the immediate enforcement of true
reformation measures like the big 3 reformation legislations, the whole
nation will struggle to withdraw the stained Kim Dae-jung's political
The Third Newsletter [March, 13th]
from Korea is continuing. Oppress of the Kim Daejung government is more
and more strong.
A. The Struggle is continuing...
- Demonstration in front of Inchon National University of Education
- Daewoo Bupyung Factory runs again. But we don't give up our struggle. Comrades and laborers who were not arrested in the struggle of attending to the factory, are all together at Inchon National University of Education and Bupyung Station. They are throwing fire bottles with their anger, sorrow, and pain.
B. Press Conference of International Squad for arresting Kim Woo-choong.
International Squad(Yu Man-hyong, head of the Squad, a former member of Daewoo Motor Labor Union/ Park Jom-kyu, 31, organizing chief of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) / Hwang I-min, 37, spokesman for Daewoo Joint Struggle Headquarters Against Daewoo Motor) for arresting former Daewoo chairman Kim woo-choong, and for censuring DJ regime's violence returned home today after various activities throughout France for 10 days since they left Korea on Feb. 23.
1. We were hailed by French citizen and the Press as well as the local workers. We visited Interpol headquarters and made an official request to arrest Kim Woo-choong. We exposed to them that the Kim Dae-jung government has no intention to catch Kim Woo-choong. No nongovenmental group or a person has ever visited the Interpol and made a request before. We also tried to force our way into the Nice villa where Kim Woo-choong had been found to enjoy his luxury life. Through this struggle we clarified and let the world know that the grand villa in France belongs to Daewoo workers.
2. On arriving
in Paris, we met major nongovenmental organizations including ATTAC and
disclosed to them the horrible situation in Korea where the government
uses public power to suppress Daewoo Motor workers who are rightfully
struggling against the company's layoffs. This disclosure made the Council
of the European Union adopt, through an official procedure, a statement
reprimanding the South Korean government for suppressing the labor. The
Council also decided to organize a Korea-visiting group to officially
reprimand the DJ government. On top of this, International Confederation
for the Human Rights said it will visit Korea in order to make a joint
white paper with Korea's human rights organizations on human rights abuse
of the Korean workers by the government and the companies and file a suit
with the Human Rights Commission of UN against the Korean government.
French social groups decided to organize a joint countermeasure committee,
which will send mail censuring the !
3. Traveling major cities in France, we distributed about 10,000 leaflets about the arrest of Kim Woo-choong and denunciation on DJ regime's suppression on the labor. We visited the Korean Embassy in France and showed our intention. Also we had rallies in many places. France's major broadcasting companies and prestigious newspapers ran a story of our activities and the purpose of our visit to France. We sold all 1000 badges we made and could build a fund of about $2,800 to support our activities. We made an official visit to ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and filed a lawsuit against DJ government for banning multiple trade unions in one workplace. Lift of ban on multiple trade unions is postponed 5 years by the government.
4. Although we did not succeed in arresting Kim Woo-choong, escaping charges of embezzlement, we could have conviction, through our activities in France, that we, workers, can catch him on our own and found out that only the South Korean government has no intention to get Kim Woo-choong, the world top thief. During our activities, we were offered joint struggles by the workers of various countries like Germany, Switzerland and Britain; British workers of GM in Luton plant, UK, offered international joint struggles of worldwide workers in motor industry. Luton workers are also threatened to be laid off by GM. They also suggested a visit to BFC that has managed the hidden assets of Kim Woo-choong and struggles for the arrest of the ex-Daewoo chairman Kim and forfeiture of his amassed funds.
We will search everywhere in the world for Kim Woo-choong and never fail to arrest him.
Bank : Chohung