Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Korean workers show how to defeat anti worker laws

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A general strike last week by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) stopped three bills regarding non-regular workers from reaching final approval.The strikes, in which 300,000 workers took part, occurred on Tuesday February 28th and Thursday 2nd March. The bills were approved by the Assembly?s Environment and Labor Committee on 27th February, but action on the streets, that coincided with support inside the parliament from the progressive Democratic Labor Party, prevented final approval prior to the Assembly closing its session on 2 March.

The issue is certain to meet further review and more public protests when the Assembly reconvenes on 20 March in an extraordinary session.

The proposed legislation would do little to improve conditions for temporary and agency workers, but instead would give employers? the flexibility to use hundreds of thousands more non-permanent workers and laying them off prior to the end of a proposed two-year period after which they must be made permanent.

The Socialist Party would like to congratulate the KCTU on its fantastic strike and calls on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to follow their lead and call for similar action in Australia to defeat Howard’s anti worker laws.