Thursday, June 15, 2006

KorUS FTA -- More Materials

An earlier post on the Korea America Free Trade Agreement negotiations currently underway in Washington linked to a number of info sources on the topic but I just thought I would add a few more.

The KCTU, FKTU, AFL-CIO and other American unions have a realeased a joint statement which you can read here; the KCTU has their own statement which you can view here as well. The documents point to deteriorating labour standards in both countries, points which have been well supported in both a recent speech by the head of the KCTU and an online solidarity campaign by the Building and Wood Workers International.

It seems that there is still a lot of resistance to casualization and irregularization of work in South Korea. The documents above point to some of the recent high profile cases such as the locked out KTX workers who have faced police violence in recent weeks. Just this week a union of both regular, irregular, and contract workers was also formed, becoming, at least formally, the first of its kind.

As for the FTA negotiations themselves, seems the national assembly is coming under pressure from many sectors, especially agriculture, for concluding a very whimpy first round, conceding to the US even in areas of apparent strength.

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