|▲ Railway workers stage a picketing on January 9 in protest of the outsourcing move taken by the Korea Railroad Corporation(Korail) in front of the Obong Station in Uiwang city.(Courtesy of Korean Railway Workers' Union Seoul Chapter)|
The Korea Railroad Corporation(Korail) plans to initiate a drive for the outsourcing of freight service and rail inspection and maintenance operations which was allegedly decided in a closed door meeting without the consultation with the union. The Korean Railway Workers' Union denounced the management's move as the precursor to the privatization of the railway industry.
The Obong Station in Uiwang, Gyeonggi province is a rail freight distribution hub connecting the greater Seoul area with Busan, the biggest port city in Korea. According to the plan for the 'effective measures of freight services in the railway stations including the Obong Station', Korail designed the outsourcing of 53 workers of current 74 workers and the direct employment of 14 workers and the dismissal of 7 workers.
The target workers for the outsourcing in the Obong Station are engaged in the freight handling services. Korail also unveiled the plan for the outsourcing of freight services in three other stations from March this year.
Korail said that the target stations for the outsourcing are the places where workers shun the deployment or workloads are heavy and it will push for the outsourcing plan, even though the management will consult the matters with the union.
The outsourcing of the Ansan Line rail inspection and maintenance recently re-triggers the controversy, as Korail moves to implement the suspended plan in 2011 due to the strong union resistance.
The union criticized the Korail's human resource management and indifference to the safety of the passengers and workers.
reported by Yoon Ja-eun
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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