|▲ Workers call on POSCO to respect trade union rights. (Archive photo by Jeong Ki-hoon/The Labor Today)|
A bona fide trade union was formed in POSCO, one of two big enterprises along with Samsung, both of which had for long stuck to non-union management in Korea. The union formation was initiated by the young workers in their 30s who organized for themselves by using the means of online chat rooms.
They began online chats, an open space to express their grievances on POSCO's authoritarian behaviors of 'gapjil', deep-rooted military-style corporate culture, unreported industrial accidents and comparatively lower levels of treatment for the workers in the same industry. The online chat evolved to finally agree to "bring changes to POSCO" and formed a preparatory committee to launch a new trade union and joined the Korean Metal Workers' Union(KMWU).
It is the first time for the full time POSCO employees to form a trade union without any influence of the management, though an enterprise union exists with the membership of about 10 employees only. The union formation preparatory committee on September 1 announced a statement to launch a new trade union at POSCO and affiliated to the Korean Metal Workers' Union which is currently receiving the online membership applications from the regular POSCO employees in order to avoid the potential union busting strategy by POSCO at the early stage of the union formation.
reported by Lee Eun-young
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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