PSSP Participates in National Care Workers Rally

On October 16, demonstrated our support for nurses’ aids, childcare workers, workers who assist the elderly and disabled people and other care workers by participating in a National Care Workers Rally. The protest, held in front of Bosingak (bell tower), a historic site in downtown Seoul, was attended by care workers and many of their allies, including social movement organizations, progressive political parties, student organizations and labor unions. All together roughly 200 people attended.

The main goal of the day were to demand that the government and public take responsibility for ensuring care workers’ work conditions and that care workers’ labor rights be guaranteed. Specifically, we called for 1) a living wage and job security for care workers, 2) an end to marketization of social services, 3) government efforts to strengthen the system for care service provision, 4) an end to the government’s plan for confronting South Korea’s low birthrate through marketization of social services and the consequent victimization of care workers.

Care work is a relatively new issue in South Korea. Until recently, care work services were performed mostly by women in the home as an element of unpaid reproductive labor. Recently, however, care work is being performed more and more as a form of low-paid wage labor, and has become and object of government policy. Rather than recognizing care work services as essential to social welfare, the government seeks their marketize, a policy which will result in further deterioration of the conditions in which care workers work. PSSP recognizes that in order for care workers’ to win proper work conditions and respect for their labor rights, social awareness of the importance of care work must be raised. For this to happen care workers themselves must organizing and come forward themselves to claim their rights.

It is with this understanding that PSSP has been supporting the struggle of care workers.
We not only participated in the National Care Workers’ Rally, but also assisted in planning and organization ahead of Oct. 16. Our new movement dance team also performed for the first time on Oct. 16. In the future we will continue to support care workers empowerment and leadership, and work in solidarity with their struggle

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