Irregular workers in Koreaand the KCTU’s action plan to organise 21th-25th Nov, 2005 Mi-Jeoung, Kim From KCTU
About Korea .. 1 • Population ; 43 million • 4 Seasons ; +30ºC(summer), -20ºC(winter) • Began Industrialization in the 1960s • Based on an export-oriented economy • Main Industries ; ITs manufacturing, electronics,chemicals, construction.. • Economic growth rate ; average 5% • Inflation : 3% • Unemployment rate : 3%
About Korea .. 2 • Military dictatorship ruled for 30 years • Politically democratised since 1987following the people’s great mobilisation • Underwent a financial crisis in 1997 • Afterwards the Government acceleratedneo-liberal policy • Two conservative parties have dominatedin politics.. • 10 seats for progressive party in parliament
Trade Union • 2 National centres ; KCTU & FKTU • 6,150 unions in enterprise-level • 45 unions in industrial-level • Membership ; 1.5 million • Union density ; 12% • Explosive mobilization since 1987
About KCTU • Set up in 1995 • Membership ; 640,000 in 2001 • 126,000 women members • 17 affiliates & 15 regional branches • About 1,800 enterprise-based unions • Represent a militant and autonomous labourmovement • One president & GS, Six vice president andabout 40 staff(at national center level)
KCTU’s outline of action plan to organise women irregular workers • KCTU has turned to organise irregular workers to represent interests of majority of workers from financial crisis. • KCTU determined it’s strategy to organise women, small-sized company, irregular workers in it’s congress 2003. • In 2005 KCTU is accomplishing as follows • To concrete strategic organising within 5 sectors • To educate orgnanisers in organising school • To collect funds to bring up organisers • In terms of strategic organising within 5 sectors • Workers in service industry, self-employed, In-company subcontracted, public service, construction • In cooperative implementation with industrial federation, and KCTU arranges organisers to its affiliates • The first organising target in service area is female irregular workers in big wholesale markets and department stores
Organising women irregualr workers in Service sector • Mainly service union, self-employees union, cleaning workers in women union, localunion are carrying out its organising. • Service sector • Big wholesale markets, department storesespecially in metro cities are the immediate targetto organise • The industrial union is the form of new union • To organise union • if there is already regular workers union, there isnecessary to cooperate with the union to expand itsscope of member • So, KCTU will send about 10 organisers intotarget companies in Seoul and it’s satellitecities to organise.
Organising women irregular workers in Cleaning sector • KCTU is organising cleaning femaleirregular workers in particular inpublic sector(ex. Seoul underground). • They already have their union whichis called women union federationand it’s members are 2,700. • Mostly they are got paid minimumwages. • Cleaning female workers are 260,000(410,000 including male) in 2003. • The objective is to establish their local union.
Conclusion • Irregular workers issue=women workers issue. However, it’s insufficientto concern women workers issueswithin KCTU. • It should be deliberated organisingstrategy for women irregular workers, cultivating women organisers andreduction of men oriented organising culture.