Greeting from KCTU
I should like to greet heartily as comrade to all the fighting labor
brothers and sisters gathering to the November 9th National Workers Rally.
I am Go Jong-Hwan, President of Seoul Area Local KCTU from South Korea.
I introduce to you comrade Kim Chang Seob, Vice President of Seoul Area
Local and comrade Mun Mun-Ju, Director of Organization of Seoul Area Local.
First of all we thank comrade TANAKA Yasuhiro, President of DORO-CHIBA
and comrade union members who invited us. Besides we thank you all present
here on behalf of Korean workers.
I am very happy here to make solidarity with workers comrade. Frankly
speaking, I do not feel at ease for the situation of the workers in Korea
is so severe, with which I confront.
The Korean government and capitals are enforcing repression on the lawful
exercise of the fundamental rights of labor, such as right of association
and right of collective bargaining, which is guaranteed by the Constitution
and the ILO, through civil and criminal measures such as seizure of property/wage
for damages, detention etc. They do not keep their promise of abolishing
discrimination against irregular workers. On the contrary they are intending
to revise law to expand irregular employment.
Labor policy of the Korean government is formulated in the recently published
"Roadmap for Industrial Relations Reform". Its essence lies
in binding workers by hands and feet and strengthening counteraction right
of employers. Five workers are driven into suicide this year by the enforcement
of the governmental policy for our regret. Moreover, a worker is still
in danger of life. The tragic deaths of these comrades are cruel products
of the neo-liberal policy of expelling workers and 'murder' by the Roh
Moo-Hyun administration that has been organizing repression on labor movement.
The Roh Moo-Hyun administration has decided to dispatch troops to Iraq
under the pressure of the US, neglecting the public opinion of Korean
people whose majority is opposed to it. In a word, the Roh Moo-Hyun administration
is not satisfied with overall killing of workers at home through failure
of its domestic policy and dares to commit to a shameless act of demanding
Korean people to massacre Iraqi people in accord with the unrighteous
US war of aggression on Iraq.
To cope with this serious situation, the KCTU has decided to wage an all-out
general strike with the following demands: to stop seizure of property/wage
for damages and repression on labor movement; to abolish discrimination
against irregular workers; to arrest employers who committed unfair labor
practice; to stop dispatch of troops to Iraq. On November 6, we waged
the first general strike with participation of 120 thousand workers and
today we are holding 100 thousand Workers Rally. We are determined to
continue our struggle through the second general strike on November 12
against neo-liberalist repression of the government in collusion with
transnational capitals on labor movement.
There are militant class-oriented activists of Japanese labor movement
together here. We sincerely congratulate you all again. We regard the
fact itself as very significant that we can be here with you, with all
our comrades. "Workers of the whole world, unite!" this internationalism
of workers has not been realized for certain period and in one country
framework of labor movement. This ideal has been sleeping in the book
and has sounded clumsy. But now in the era of globalization of neoliberalism,
it must not remain the mere comfortable slogan but must be materialized
through our struggle. Without realizing this ideal, we can't even maintain
the historical achievements that our predecessors of labor movement have
acquired by their fights with many sacrifices.
Now under the global system of capitalism, Workers internationalism must
be the indispensable integral part of workers struggle. It being realized,
we can make our struggle one step forward and can protect our right of
existence and our fundamental labor rights too.
In this meaning, it is important for us, the Korean, Japanese and American
labor movement to fight against the war crisis jointly, which has been
brought about meanwhile by the "Nuclear Problem" of North Korea.
Military forces of US have now strongholds crossing over the regional
boundaries and move from there. So, if we want to cope with this move,
we must build up the coordinated movement that covers Japan, Korea and
the rest of the East Asia.
We must above all prevent the impending brutal warfare, prepared by both
Japanese Militarism, symbolized by the latest Emergency Legislation, and
by US-Imperialism. At the same time, it is also necessary that the movement
against US-imperialism must be fought inside the US itself, i.e. by the
class-oriented labor movement and anti-war movement.
So, it is an urgent task for all of us to make an international solidarity
between Korean, American, and Japanese labor movement. We must make further
efforts to prevent globalization of neoliberalism. For that purpose, we,
the Korean labor movement, make its best for our part. We wish with all
our heart that today and this place should be a milestone of the international
class solidarity of Korean, American and Japanese labor movement.
Finally, we want to pay our warm respects to all the participating comrades.
Thank you very much.