DAEWOO WORKERS NEED SOLIDARITY

Green Left Parramatta glparramatta at SPAMgreenleft.org.au
Sun Apr 22 17:50:46 MDT 2001


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There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. DAEWOO WORKERS NEED SOLIDARITY
           From: "Melanie Sjoberg" <uactoz at hotmail.com>


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Message: 1
   Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:39:37 +1000
   From: "Melanie Sjoberg" <uactoz at hotmail.com>
Subject: DAEWOO WORKERS NEED SOLIDARITY

Dear UACT supporters

I have just received this appeal from the Deawoo workers.  Your greatest
efforts to get this around and particularly seek some financial
contributions would be fantastic.

There have certianly already been several motions of solidarity passed
by
NSW Labor Council, VTHC, the AMWU and CFMEU so we should be able to make
this concrete without too much effort.

Just a reminder that the "Wanted" poster is accessible at the front of
the
UACT website <www.asiet.org.au/uact> and the site should be updated over
the
next couple of days.

Melanie

DAEWOO WORKERS NEED SOLIDARITY
An appeal by the Daewoo Motors Labour Union
Since the mass sacking of 1750 workers at Daewoo Motors' Bupyoung plant
on
February 16, there has been a protracted and bitter fight for their
reinstatement.
On February 19, police attacked the workers and their families who were
occupying the plant in a desperate bid to hold onto their jobs. The
government deemed the workers' actions illegal and put out arrest
warrants
for 9 union leaders, offering rewards equivalent to thousands of US
dollars.
After the crackdown, many workers and the union leaders took refuge in a
nearby Catholic church. The leadership is forced to remain there and
have
long set up a base from which they have continued to organise the
struggle.
While the police are unable to risk a fight with the Catholic hierarchy
by
entering the church premises, they have organised gangs of thugs to
harass
workers going in and out of the grounds. In response, the workers have
been
forced to organise teams of round-the-clock defence guards.
The government has frozen the assets of 45 workers, demanding that they
pay
compensation for supposed damages to company property during the strike.
One
of these workers is being asked to pay the equivalent of about
US$3,300,000!! Yes, you read right, it's not a misprint. This is
evidence of
how high the cards are stacked up against the workers.
The company also prevented the workers from accessing their union
office,
located inside the factory grounds. When the union took it to the
district
court, it found in the union's favour on April 6. Despite this, when 400
workers and a union lawyer tried to enter the union office on April 10,
they
were set upon by hundreds of riot cops in what has been the most vicious
attack to date. Several suffered broken ribs, including one whose lung
was
punctured. One worker had his sight impaired, another his speech. Noses
and
limbs were smashed, backs and heads badly injured. Thirty workers are
still
in hospital, many of them not due out for another month.
In the ensuing uproar, nearly 10,000 mobilised for a rally and march on
April 14 at only a couple of days' notice. Lawyers' associations and the
heads of all the union federations have sent protest delegations. Even
the
normally submissive media has given more than their usual coverage to
this
incident. In an attempt to control the damage, the police sacked the
head of
the Bupyoung precinct, transferred the Inchon city police chief,
promised to
pay the hospital costs and guarantee free access to the union office.
However, this has not satisfied the workers. The momentum now continues
to
build towards increasingly louder calls for the resignation of President
Kim
Dae-jung. Last month, the Daewoo struggle was the impetus for first
raising
this demand. Now, the vicious April 10 attack will drive this campaign
even
further in the lead up to May Day and the fights surrounding the annual
Spring bargaining period.
In this context, the Daewoo workers appeal for international solidarity
to
help strengthen their struggle for reinstatement, against the sell-off
of
Daewoo Motors to General Motors, for the release of their jailed
comrades,
for the lifting of the arrest warrants on the union leadership, and for
the
lifting of the freeze on the 45 workers' assets.
Most immediately, we need financial help to continue organising the
struggle. We are currently overstretched despite the contributions of
many
workers and other unions. We would be very grateful if you could please
deposit any amount of assistance into the following account.
Bank : Chohung Bank
Account : 938-04-179123
Name : An Mi-jeong
BIC-Code : chohkrse
Yours in solidarity,
Kim Il-sup, Secretary of the Daewoo Motors Labour Union


         UNIONISTS AGAINST CORPORATE TYRANNY(UACT)
     GLOBALISE SOLIDARITY! CANCEL THE THIRD WORLD DEBT!
         Visit our website <www.asiet.org.au/uact>
                    Melanie Sjoberg

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