Updates (September 2012)

KPTU Cargo Truckers Solidarity Division concludes Strike
On June 25, the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Division of the Korean Public & Social Service and Transportation Workers Union .KPTU) went on strike demanding an increase in freight rates, the waving of fuel taxes, the implementation of a standard freight rates system and unionization rights. For five days, logistics bases across the country experienced major delays due to the strike. The strike end on June 29, with the cargo truckers winning a 9.9% increase in freight rates. While the rate increase was lower than had been hoped, the strike was successful in winning a promise from the Democratic Party to include the cargo tuckers' demands in its party platform. More importantly, the strike was instrumental in increasing public sympathy for cargo truckers, which forms an important basis for further struggle.

Cleaning and Security Workers at Hongik University win Union Recognition
After an 85-days sit-in protest, cleaning and security workers at Hongik University finally forced the contract cleaning company Yongjin Sileob to recognize their union, the Seoul-Gyeonggi Public Service Branch of the Korean Public & Social Service and Transportation Workers Union .KPTU). Yongjin Sileob had established a yellow union, and was claiming the yellow union had the status of bargaining representative as an excuse not to recognize the KPTU union. Through their struggle, the Hongik workers forced Yongjin management to reach an agreement with their union on August 1. Under this agreement, the workers will be covered by the KPTU Seoul-Gyeonggi Public Service Branch's multi-workplace collective bargaining agreement, reached last April 19. Yongjin Sileob also agreed either not to seek a renewal of its contract with Hongik administration after it runs out in December, or to bargain faithfully with the union if its contract is renewed.

Former President of Ssangyong Union Released from Prison after 3 Years
At 12:00am on the night of August 4-5, Sang-gyun Han, former President of the Korean Metal Workers Union Ssangyong Motor Branch was released from Hwaseong prison after serving a three-year sentence. Han, who is loved and respected by the Ssangyong Motor union members and the Korean labor movement, was arrested after leading a 77-day factory occupation and strike against mass dismissals in 2009. He was greeted by a crowd of union members, students and activists holding a cultural event in front of the prison to honor his release. Han addressed the crowd saying, "Thank you. I promise to struggle even more fiercely in the future."

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