ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 28th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Government Employees In Korea Fired For Union Activities

I do not know the specifics behind why these government workers in Korea were fired, but I am against public sector unions with collective bargaining if that is what this union is trying to do in Korea:

The President of the Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), Kim Jungnam, launched a hunger strike in the streets of Seoul outside the offices of the Presidential transition committee on 15 January.

He is protesting the sacking of 137 workers, among them the union president and general secretary, who are being punished for their union activities. They are accused of being leaders of an “illegal organization” — the KGEU.

President-elect Park Guenhye, daughter of the dictator Park Chung-hee, will take office on 25 February. She has pledged to achieve social integration. The KGEU is demanding that she recognize the union and reinstate the sacked employees.  [Labour Start Campaign]

The problem I have with public sector unions is that they collect mandatory dues that they than use to help get union friendly politicians elected who hook them up with ever sweeter pay and benefits through collective bargaining. A private company would go out of business with such an arrangement but with government it just raises taxes. Additionally public unions are funded by taxpayer dollars that are in turn used to elect politicians that they collectively bargain with for increased benefits. What kind of bargaining is going on when you are bargaining with the person you elected? That is why I have no issues with collective bargaining with private sector unions because they do not elect the executive leadership they are negotiating with.  Even if the union did elect the executive leadership if they demand too much the company goes out of business.  With government they just raise taxes.

These are all reasons why the US federal government union does not have collective bargaining rights.  The US federal government union is there to protect worker rights and do things like promote worker safety.  This I do not have a problem with.  If these government workers fired in Korea were trying to create strikes and demanding collective bargaining rights than I can understand why they were fired.

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  • Setnaffa
    8:13 pm on January 28th, 2013 1

    There should be as much of a gap between unions and government as between religious organizations and government…

    In fact, the political voice of unions is part of their power; and just like religious organizations, they should not be allowed to control the government.

  • Graeme Jelly
    12:15 am on January 29th, 2013 2

    I understand what you’re saying, but taxes are there to fund the government; in the end, taxpayers will make the decision as to how much government employees are paid. If government employees are unionised or not, they still negotiate for salaries… with the taxpayers on the hook.

  • kushibo
    1:13 am on January 29th, 2013 3

    In fact, the political voice of unions is part of their power; and just like religious organizations, they should not be allowed to control the government.

    Not saying this is necessarily you, setnaffa, but it’s funny how so many of the people who hold this view of unions are also trying to increase “Christian” influence in Federal and state governments, often citing our history as a Christian nation as justification.

    Given that there are checks in place to prevent abuse, I don’t think the potential for political abuse by the unions is a strong enough justification to take away collective bargaining rights. Employing those checks more effectively should be the way to go about it.

  • Teadrinker
    6:15 am on January 29th, 2013 4


    Exactly. If anything, making unions illegal is a product of government collusion with corporations.


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