Statement Welcoming the Seoul High Court’s Decision Overturning the Rejection of MTU’s Application for Union Registration
- The Korean government must now grant official union recognition to MTU immediately!
- We welcome the decision of Seoul High Court to overturn the rejection of MTU’s application for union registration!
Today, 1 February the 11th Special Division of Seoul High Court (Justice Su-hyung Kim presiding), issued a judgment calling for the cancellation of the rejection of MTU’s application of union registration. This judgment overturned the previous ruling (Feb. 2006) which had upheld the original rejection of MTU’s application.
MTU presented application for union registration to the Seoul Regional Labor Office on 3 May 2005. However, the Labor Office rejected our application on 3 June 2005 on the basis that undocumented migrant workers do not qualify as workers, and based on unjust requirements such submission of the name of each workplace represented, the names of union representatives and a complete list of union members.
Following this, MTU filed a suit with the Administrative Court protesting the Labor Office’s unjust decision and asking that the rejection of our application be cancelled. However on 7 February 2006 the Administrative Court turned down our request, claiming again that undocumented migrant workers do not have the same status as other workers.
We against protested this clearly unjust decision and filed an appeal to the High Court. Now, after waiting no less than one and a half years, the justness of our claim has finally been proven.
We welcome today’s decision with great joy!
We believe that the high court’s ruling is the outcome of our long and difficult struggle for the human rights and labor rights of migrant workers. We also believe that it is the result of the warm solidarity of our Korean comrades who have defended and supported us this whole time.
We hope that today’s decision will give new hope and spirit to the 400,000 migrant workers who have been suffering under the relentless crackdown and deportations.
We believe this judgment provides a new opportunity for us to deepen our organizing and strengthen our struggle for migrant workers’ rights.
The road before us is still long. Right now, many migrant workers who have been caught in crackdowns are suffering from shock and the horrible treatment inside foreigner dentition centers, which are worse than prisons. They are unable to receive the severance pay and back wages justly due to them. Those who are sick are unable to get medical treatment. Instead they are being forcibly deported. We must struggle with even more determination to end this oppression and win the rights of migrant workers so that we may life freely and safely with the dignity of human beings.
Now, the Labor Office must accept the Court’s ruling and recognize MTU as an official union. If it does not accept the decision and instead appeals to the Supreme Court, we will condemn this ant-labor attitude of the Ministry of Labor and continue to struggle with even more conviction.
Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrant Trade Union
KCTU-Seoul Regional Council