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Nov. 15  2018
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Struggle Against the Korea Govt. Policy Brings the Nation Together

The voice demanding revision of migrant workers셮olicy spreads out nationwide. Since the government's announcement of 'Improved policy of foreign manpower', following to a sit-in rally by the Joint Committee for Migrant Workers in Korea (JCMK), streak rallies by both Koreans and migrant workers for eradication of discrimination and cancellation of deportation policy were held

Source  :  Asian Workers News No.136

The voice demanding revision of migrant workers’policy spreads out nationwide.
Since the government's announcement of 'Improved policy of foreign manpower', following to a sit-in rally by the Joint Committee for Migrant Workers in Korea (JCMK), streak rallies by both Koreans and migrant workers for eradication of discrimination and cancellation of deportation policy were held in the last weekend in several cities of Daegu, Gumi, and Busan. Not only migrant workers and their supporting organizations nationwide, but also Korean social organizations and other labor organizations such as the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) have the same voice asserting to enact a righteous policy for migrant workers.
So, the government has shown its consideration that the policy that all undocumented migrant workers will be deported by March next year is reexamined and improved policy will be introduced after dialogue with other related ministries. However, the government has brought us disappointment always as a rule, it is not clear whether the government will take the action that the trainee system will be abolished and amnesty upon undocumented workers will be granted even though the government steps back from its harsh policy.


KNCC hunger strike underway

The churchmen's prayer group rushed a hunger strike in protest to compulsory deportation of migrant workers and the industrial trainee system. And, as the churchmen's struggle intensely progresses, various groups and organisations are showing their solidarity.

On August 1, at 3pm, on the 2nd floor of the Christian Assembly Hall, the National Council of Churches in Korea (KNCC) held a press conference opposing compulsory deportation of migrant workers and urging abolition of the trainee system. The press conference began with a speech given by Rev. Jung Byung-ho, President of KNCC. Rev. Park Do-woong, Administrator of KNCC, followed with a progress report. Rev. Kim Jae-yeol, KNCC Executive Committee member and Director of Business Affairs at The Protestant Episcopal Church, also read a statement. Before the press conference, the Head Office for Abolition of the Industrial Trainee System distributed flies outlining the injustice of the trainee system and compulsory deportation at Jongro 5 ga.
After the press conference, 400 people took part in a prayer meeting, held by the KNCC Human Rights Committee, opposing compulsory deportation and urging abolition of the industrial trainee system.
KNCC, which supports the churchmen's hunger strike, will play big role in the future of this issue.


Migrant workers struggle continued
On July 30, the Head Office for Abolition of the Industrial Trainee System, led by the Joint Committee for Migrant Workers in Korea (JCMK), held an assembly, also urging for abolition of the trainee system, which it sees as a modern form of slavery, in front of the Korea Federation of Small Business (KFSB) offices in You-i-do.
Also, in spite of the sizzling hot weather, the Myeongdong Cathedral sit-in continued until 10am. After the rally finished, some of the people who have been developing anti-trainee system subway publicity, gathered in front of the Korea Federation of Small Business (KFSB) offices and disclosed KFSB intentions to expand the industrial trainee system to maintain its vested rights. The participants moved to Ansan Station and held an assembly from 5pm.
The Ansan Station assembly opened with an address from Park Chun-eung, the representative for Abolition of the Industrial Trainee System, followed by a speech from a KCTU member, who asserted that the violation of the human and labour rights of migrant workers should not be happening, especially in a country where the President had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. It was also disclosed that An-san KCTU union members would continue to develop the joint struggle with migrant workers.
After the KCTU speech, some migrant workers also spoke. Migrant workers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines and China, etc expressed their rage at government policy regarding migrant workers. During the assembly, people on their way home stopped to listen and read flyers handed out by migrant workers, swelling the number of those in attendance to around 300. Most of them nodded in agreement and gave applause. The square in front of Ansan Station then became the site for a migrant workers cultural event. Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, Nepalese and Filipinos gave performances. Chinese workers received long and loud applause for their song of struggle, adapted from the 'Old Workers Song'.

The second rally in Jongmyo Park sees angry migrant workers gather

Around 1,000 migrant workers gathered at Jongmyo Park on Sunday, August 4. The large-scale rally was the second in two weeks and had around 2,000 participants. This turn out proved just how much migrant workers are enraged by the Korean governments policy.
Park Sang-jeung, a representative of the People's Solidarity for Participation and Democracy (PSPD), revealed that all Koreans support migrant workers and their struggle and went on to say that the Korean government is committed to the cruel violation of migrant workers human rights, which should not occur in a modern nation, and should abolish the trainee system so that migrant workers can work without further discrimination.
Park Sang-hwan, Chairman of the Joint Committee of National Professors for Democracy (JCNP), spoke of his experience as a foreigner in Germany and asserted that if Korea continues to violate migrant workers human rights, its international image will diminish, and that the introduction of the work permission system will guarantee migrant workers rights.
Kim Hae-sung, from the Joint Committee for Migrant Workers in Korea (JCMK) and a Bangladeshi migrant worker also spoke and the rally concluded with the reading of the resolution by Choi Seo-yeon, a business affairs official from Won Buddhism.
The migrant workers who participated in the rally, pledged to make an independent effort to guarantee of migrant workers human and labour rights. The large-scale assembly gave migrant workers self-confidence and a feeling of solidarity with Koreans. Hopefully, it also helped in persuading the Korean government to establish righteous policy regarding migrant workers.

Message from Japan-Philippines Solidarity

On July 30, a nationwide network, connecting with migrant workers in Japan, sent messages of solidarity to the Head Office for Abolition of the Industrial Trainee System, which said, "We are astonished at the Korean governments policy. Despite international criticism, the Korean government is trying to expand the trainee system instead of withdrawing it".
The network also made known the importance of a Korea-Japan joint struggle. It said the struggle and victory of migrant workers in Korea would encourage those in Japan. JCMK developed a joint action with migrant worker support groups in Japan during the World Cup period. KANLUNGAN, a Filipino migrant worker support group, also sent a message of solidarity, saying that they support the struggle for withdrawing the Industrial Trainee System.
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