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Our Position on the Hanjin Heavy Industries

관리자 2011-07-26 (화) 16:05 6년전 13305  

Our Position on the Violence and Abuse of Public Power by Police _?xml_:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

and the Normalization of Relationships within Hanjin Heavy Industries

July 11, 2011

 

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) has been praying and making    every effort for God’s will to be done on earth. On the 10th of July, the Korean police illegally and brutally put down a peaceful march by citizens demanding a resolution to the situation of workers whom Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) had laid off. With grave concerns, the PROK hereby states where we stand.

 

1. We strongly condemn the police illegal and violent suppression of this peaceful march!

 

From the death of two union leaders, Park Chang-Soo in 1991 and Kim Joo-Ik in 2003, to the present rightful struggles of workers against their illegal layoff, we are aware of how harsh the oppression of the workers at Hanjin Heavy Industries has been. On the 9th of July, which is the 185th day of this year’s struggle by the workers, over ten thousand citizens rode 195 Buses for Hope to the second large rally in front of Busan Station and held a Solidarity and Hope Concert calling for the resolution of the situation of the laid-off workers and particularly the safety of labour leader Kim Jin-Sook. Later the citizens marched peacefully to meet with Kim who has been protesting by occupying the 35-metre high shipyard crane #85. Armed police blocked this peace march and during this confrontation, at around 2 o’clock in the morning of the 10th, police fired liquid tear gas and water cannons toward the citizens, then, using their riot shields, rushed the marchers, took innocent citizens into custody, and finally scattered the crowd.

 

Among those who participated in this peaceful march were disabled people, minors, and the elderly. Nevertheless, the police violently charged the crowd, using water cannons and liquid tear gas fluid, even brutally targeting people’s faces directly. It was revealed that nearly 100 people have either been burned or injured this day by the police water cannons and liquid tear gas.

 

We have to ask for whom the police exist and what they serve. We cannot help but lament this reality in which the police, who should be protecting citizens and guarding democratic order, instead become private soldiers of Chaebol conglomerate corporations and commit violence on citizens even more severely than hired bullies would. The police should publicly apologize concerning this incident to the people of our nation and those who are responsible for this incident should be strictly punished.

 

2. Hanjin Heavy has to reinstate laid-off workers and open all information on their order-receiving process!

 

For workers, layoff in fact means death. Hence, plausible grounds and criteria must always be provided in the case of layoffs. However, Hanjin’s layoff this time clearly violated the employment agreements by setting forth no future restructuring plan. (2007.3.14, 2010.2.26) Furthermore, Hanjin Heavy Industries is under suspicion for having been concealing received orders. For the past three years, the company has justified its layoff through an alleged lack of orders. They laid off 170 workers this past February, and then distributed 17.4 billion Korean won to their shareholders as a dividend. In addition, right after the union called off their strike the company announced an order receipt of six orders for vessels.

 

According to an insider from the Metal Unions, it is necessary to have 3000-4000 workers to be able to properly produce received orders but currently at Yeongdo Shipyard there are only 620 regular workers and 700-800 subcontracted workers. It is inconceivable that Hanjin had to perform a layoff when the company was actually in absolute need of more workers.

 

This circumstance compels us to conclude that the management intends to gradually reduce production at Yeongdo Shipyard of Busan region and eventually establish Subic Shipyard in the Philippines, where labor is cheaper, as its central production line. This leads us to reason that there may be a second and third restructuring. While Subic Shipyard may bring a larger profit to some of those in Management, due to this kind of restructuring the workers in the Busan region will lose jobs and livelihood. In the long run this move will cause a significant loss in the economy of the Busan region and of the entire country as well.

 

To alleviate this suspicion, Hanjin will have to release all the information related to the process of receiving orders. And also, Hanjin will have to withdraw its violent layoff policy and reinstate all the workers who have sweated blood for the company.

We, the PROK, declare our appeals as follows. We will also march in prayer with all the people of the country to put an end both to the violence of the police, whose action destroys democratic order, and to the misdeeds of the Chaebol corporations of Korea.

 

Our Appeals

 

1.       We appeal to President Lee Myung bak. The violence by the police took place with the knowledge of the president and this obviously deserves a public apology.

2.       Cho Hyun-Oh, Chief of the National Police Agency, and Seo Chun-Ho, Chief of the Busan Police Agency, overused their public power, violently repressing a peaceful protest, and therefore must be discharged.

3.       Hanjin Heavy Industries must release all the suspect order receipt information and reinstate all laid-off workers.

4.       The government must investigate Hanjin Heavy Industries on its poor management and suspicious order receipt process and punish those who are responsible for the debacle.

5.       The government must proactively arbitrate in local economy and employment problems. 

6.       The government must make a strong regulation regarding layoffs caused by poor management.

7.       All civil detainees who participated in the peace march must be released. 

 

REV. BAE TAE-JIN

General Secretary

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK)

 

REV. CHUN BYEONG-SAENG

Chairperson, Church and Society Committee

PROK


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