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(Newsletter No. 8) 64,257 Members from 127 KHMU Branches Launch General Strike Starting July 13

by KANG,YeonBae posted Jul 12, 2023 Replies 0
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64,257 Members from 127 KHMU Branches Launch General Strike Starting July 13

 

"A Call to Expand Public Healthcare Services, Strengthen the Health and Medical Workforce, and Ensure Fair and Just Compensation for Workers Demonstrating Exceptional Dedication in Responding to COVID-19"

 

The Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union Announces Industry-level General Strike Commencing on the 13th

The Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union (KHMU), under the leadership of President Na Soon-ja, has announced the plan to embark on an industry-level general strike. Preceding the strike, a general strike eve event is scheduled to take place simultaneously nationwide, including at the Ewha Woman's University Seoul Hospital, on July 12th at 6:00 pm.


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Press conference on the July 10 general strike at KHMU headquarters.

Anticipated participation in the eve event at Ewha Woman's University Seoul Hospital includes around 800 members from the hospital's union branch, led by Branch Head Yoo Hyeon-jeong, as well as President Na Soon-ja of the KHMU. The eve event will consist of a joint program (part 1), organized by the KHMU Head Office, lasting 40 minutes. Following this, part 2 event will be held at separate locations by regional headquarters or branches.

To ensure broad access and engagement, the KHMU will livestream the eve program on the YouTube channel, "The KHMU TV" (https://www.youtube.com/@TV-is2nn).

The KHMU has issued a fervent appeal to employers and the government to present viable and future-oriented alternatives. Unless their voices are heeded, the KHMU has announced that it would go on an indefinite general strike commencing at 7:00 am on July 13. A total of 64,257 union members working across 145 workplaces in 127 branches throughout the country will participate in this industrial action.

The primary objective of the general strike is to safeguard the lives and well-being of citizens. Amidst a backdrop of insufficient manpower and a crisis in essential and public medical services, the KHMU aims to shed light on the realities faced by medical institutions.

The strike will emphasize the unfortunate reality of patients not receiving timely and comprehensive treatment due to the shortage of personnel. By highlighting such medical injustices, the KHMU aims to engage and rally citizens in their fight for fair and just healthcare.

 

Key Demands Highlighted in the General Strike are as follows:

1.    Full-fledged Expansion of Integrated Nursing Care Services to Address High Caregiving Expenses

2.    Institutionalization of a Nurse-to-Patient Ratio of 1:5 to Ensure Patients’ Safety and Prepartion of Appropriate Staffing Level Standard

3.    Increase in the Number of Doctors to Combat Unlicensed and Illegal Medical Care

4.    Extension of Public Medical Services for Essential Medical Services

5.    Recovery Support for Hospitals Dedicated to COVID-19 to Faciliate the Normalization of the Hospitals

6.    Fair Compensation for COVID-19 Heroes, who Have Been at the Frontline (10.7% wage increase)

7.    Implementation of the 'September 2 Agreement between the KHMU and the Ministry of Health and Welfare

 

All of the aforementioned key demands are unequivocally aimed at safeguarding the lives and well-being of citizens in response to the crisis of healthcare manpower shortages and the imminent collapse of essential and public medical services.

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Press conference on the July 10 general strike at KHMU headquarters

 

The KHMU is organizing a general strike rally on the first day of the industry-wide general strike, uniting union members from across the country. The rally is scheduled to take place in Gwanghwamun (Seoul, South Korea) starting from 1:30 pm on July 13. After rally, KHMU members will join the KCTU rally and march.    

On the 14th, regional and nationwide base strikes are planned to be conducted as part of the ongoing general strike. Additionally, general strike rallies will be also organized on the second day of the strike in Seoul, Sejong City, Busan, and Gwangju, respectively.

 

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (The KCTU) has recently declared a two-week "general strike struggle to protect labor, people's livelihood, democracy, and peace," starting from July 3rd. This extensive strike involves the participation of approximately 400,000 union members and encompasses various forms of action, such as circular strikes by industrial unions, simultaneous candlelight vigils nationwide, and weekly and weekend rallies held across the country.

It is worth noting that the South Korean government has labeled the strikes initiated by both the KCTU and the KHMU as illegal, claiming that their demands are ‘political’.

The KHMU has made arrangements to livestream the eve event of the strike on July 12 and the general strike rallies on the 13th and 14th through the official YouTube channel, The KHMU TV(보건의료노조TV in Korean): https://www.youtube.com/@TV-is2nn.

 

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Press conference on the July 10 general strike at KHMU headquarters


You can show your solidarity by tuning into the livestream and sending a message of support to the KHMU.

For more details and photos, please refer to our union website as;

https://bogun.nodong.org/xe/?mid=eng2020

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Press conference on the July 10 general strike at KHMU headquarters



Korean Health & Medical Workers' Union

Address KHMU Bldg, 10 Beodeunaru-ro 16-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, 07230 Korea

Tel +82 2 2677 4889

Fax +82 2 2677 1769

E-mail khmuinfo@gmail.com