Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Split in the KCTU

I've been reluctant to write anything recently about the split that's going on in the KCTU surrounding the decision to rejoin the Tripartite commission (Labour, Capital, Government) until now as I've had scant information, and to a point still do. It appears Christian (whose CINA blog is linked to mine) was at the last meeting that turned violent (there have been three meetings so far that have gotten ugly). From what I've read in the press, in each meeting a 'breakaway' group of activists has tried to prevent what appears to be (even from the pictures, unfortunately) the majority of KCTU delegates from voting. And from what I gather about the constituency of the protestors is that they are younger members, perhaps students, irregular workers and some veteren labour militants. Christians photo essay on the event is linked here by the way.

The irregular workers concern is obviously that the KCTU will abandon their struggle if they rejoin the talks. And that is an important issue, the new bill expanding the use of irregular workers from 1-3 years will make their struggle more difficult (see posting on non-regular workers below). Abandoning the irregular worker struggle would also mark the beginning of a more bread-and-butter style unionism by the KCTU rather than the social unionism it is well known for. I'm not sure if the act of joining the Tripartite commision will mean exactly these things, and I can sympathize with some who feel that the KCTU deserves more legitimacy in the public eye, but it does seem that for the moment there are some conflicting ideas about where the organization should be going. I'm quite curious what the position of people like former KCTU head Dan Byung-Ho and others are. Maybe I'll try to get some commentary and write an article. Ideas, comments? Post them below.

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