May. 29  2023
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KCTU called on the workers to organize an international Labor delegation to Irap

KCTU statement

Source  :  KCTU

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) previously called on the workers of the world to organize an International Labour Delegation to Iraq. The purpose of the appeal for action was to express the working class’s strong opposition to the US-led war, and also to expose first-hand the atrocities that the economic sanctions and the war would bring to the region, in a stand of solidarity with the people of Iraq.

Among colleagues who have responded to our appeal (dated March 4th) were several trade unions from France and Canada who have expressed their willingness to join the International Labour Delegation to Iraq. In addition, we have also received solidarity messages from trade unions and labour-related organizations such as the SIGTUR, which fully supported our appeal. (See the below letters).

Unfortunately, however, a larger and broader International Labour Delegation has not been realized due to the uncertainty of the political situation concerning Iraq, and also due to the urgency of the organizing process. In the face of such circumstances and the imminent war, KCTU decided to send on the 14th of March three representatives to Iraq as an advance team of the International Labour Delegation, while at the same time continuing further organizing for more delegates.

On the 15th March, KCTU representatives arrived at Amman, Jordan and applied for an entry visa to Iraq but failed, due to the virtual termination of all visa issues which was a direct result of the rapid change in the political situation immediately following the US, UK and Spain Summit on March 16th. In addition, as Bush announced his ultimatum to Iraq, the situation in Baghdad could not guarantee the full, safe implementation of all the activities that we had planned. In these circumstances, KCTU representatives are currently standing-by in Amman, closely watching for future developments.

We regret that our representatives were not able to enter Iraq and show our will of solidarity directly to the Iraqi people. However, we reassure that we will do everything to oppose the war that is being carried out simply for oil and US hegemony. We also reaffirm that we will continue with the International Labour Delegation with careful consideration of future changes in the political situation.

We have only needed a few days in the region to realize the disastrous affects a war will bring to the region. The Jordan government, as well as all other countries in the region closed there borders and outlawed the entrance of countless Iraqi refugees, leaving them helpless in the face of the 3000 bombs the U.S. military will pour on the country today and tomorrow. Many, many lives will be lost in the war, and as always, they will be innocent lives, mostly from working class families.

We appeal again to all labour organizations across the world to prevent every single government from joining the US-led war on Iraq and all the humanitarian disasters that are expected to come out of it. We welcome the news that friends in various countries are considering mass actions in their respective countries. The KCTU has also begun to seriously consider a higher level of organized action to oppose the South Korean government’s support for the war and to stop plans for troop dispatches.

The KCTU remains committed to the principle of peace with the vast majority of the people of the world, and will continue the uncompromising struggle against actions that violate this, the most important of principles.

Yoo Duk-Sang
Acting President
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
5th fl. Daeyoung Bldg., 139 Youngdeungpo-2-Ga
Youngdeungpo-ku, Seoul
Seoul 150-9820 Korea
Tel: ++82 2 2636 0165
Fax: ++82 2 2635 1134

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