National Union supports Korean trade union leader on hunger strike

President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), Kim Jungnam, went on a hunger strike on January 15 in protest of the dismissal of 137 workers, including the KGEU General Secretary and President, for their trade union activities.

Ottawa (01 Feb. 2013) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has added its voice to the growing calls for the South Korean government to respect the labour rights of its government employees (send an email to the South Korean President-elect here).

The President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), Kim Jungnam, went on a hunger strike on January 15 in protest of the dismissal of 137 workers, including the KGEU General Secretary and President, for their trade union activities.

In a rally on January 19, attended by over a thousand KGEU officials, the union again called on the President-elect and the presidential transition committee for a normalisation of labour relations in the government sector, improvement of working conditions and freedom of association and trade union rights.

So far, the presidential transition committee has not shown any willingness to solve this situation. On January 30, 16 days into the hunger strike, KGEU president Kim Jungnam collapsed and was taken to hospital. 

In his letter to the President-elect of South Korea, Park Guenhye, NUPGE's National President James Clancy supported Kim Jungnam and the KGEU and called on the government to honour their obligations to respect core labour rights.

More information:

NUPGE letter to Park Guenhye

Labourstart campaign: Korea: Public sector union president on indefinite hunger strike

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE