Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Movement against Disabled Discrimination

From Voice of the People

New movement for disabled just starts

Solidarity Against the Disabled Discrimination launched 5th Sep.

by Suh Jeong Hwan

Solidarity Against Disabled Discrimination in South Korea opened the ceremony for its establishment in 5th Sep., Gwanghwamun while the government-led ceremony for Disabled People's International World Assembly was held at the same time. It was the first program of the 'Days for disable people in action'.

△The disabled people join the ceremony for the establishment of SADD ⓒJun Munsu, Voiceofpeople

It took three years for SADD, the united progressive organizations for the disabled people's right, to be launched and that was the time of tearful struggle.

The comittee for establishing SADD occupied the subway rail to demand convinient and safety measures for disbled after one of them met the death from a fall in the subway station.

As one serious disabled man who can't move by hiself died but wasn't found for a long time, the members of the committee took various acts to introduce the supproting system for disable's moves.

Kim Okjin, the chairwoman of the Solidarity for the Educational Right of Disabled, addressed that she couldn't participated to the DPI World Assembly though she was invited. "I hope to be with you, my comrades struggling for the human right of disabled people like my son rather than to be a guest in the brilliant cereomny" Mrs. Kim said.

SADD criticized that the government was proud that it enacted the Prohibitionla Law against Disabled Discrimination while it was them that had struggled to push the law but not the government itself.

SADD stated that belows should be carried out to improve the disable's human right and the NGOs in SADD would keep struggling to make it.

-Increasing the budget for disabled people from recent 0.29 percent of GDP to 2.5 percnet like other countries in OECD.
-The disable's pention.
-The quater of public rent apartment.
-The social responsibilities for sopporting system for disable's moves.

SADD are going to open conferences, exhibitions, festivals, assemblies and etc for three days.

△Disable's tents in front of the Sejong Cultural Holl where the 'Days for disabled people in action' is going in ⓒJun Munsu, Voiceofpeople

△Disabled people moving on the crossroad. ⓒⓒJun Munsu, Voiceofpeople

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More on the E-Land Struggle

From a reader:

At 1 AM on the night of Sunday Sept. 16 over 100 strikers of the E-Land/Homever stores in South Korea occupied a store in the Seoul suburbs, hoping to shut down Sunday shopping. The strike has been going on for 2 1/2 months and has been losing momentum. If you have not seen the video about the strike, watch it here [English Subtitles]. [You can also watch a video of the arrests here].

The riot police showed up at 3:00 AM and arrested about70 workers staging the occupation, and arrested more strikers and supporters outside.

Further attempts at disrupting stores are planned for the coming week, just prior to Chusok) holiday, a major shopping day.

Rain Sunday afternoon partially prevented a shutdown of a major Homever store at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, as well as the fact that over 100 strikers and supporters were already under arrest. Riot police and military (mobilized draftees) were out in force, as were a group of about 100 privately outsourced thugs. They greatly outnumbered demonstrators, and as of 6 PM Sunday no confrontation had occurred.

Background on the Strike

This is one of the most important strikes in South Korea in years. Even though it involves only 1000 workers at 60-odd stores around the country, it is viewed by the government and the capitalists as a test of the new, Orwell-named "Casual Worker Protection Law" that went into effect on July 1. If the E-Land workers are defeated, it will be open season on hundreds of
thousands of other casual workers who can be laid off at will.

To show the importance the Korean government accords to the strike, on July 20 it send 7000 cops, soldiers and private thugs to roust and arrest 200 workers occupying one of the E-Land stores.

If you wish to make a financial contribution to the struggle, send it to Oh Min Gyu, the organizer of the Casual Workers' Union. Send it to account number 470302-01-178901
Kookmin Bank
South Korea

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

UNI coverage of E-Land struggle

The UNI Commerce worker's union has been doing some great reporting on the E-Land strike. You can read the latest here. Also, here are some photos from the latest store picket actions and a video with English subtitles in which E-Land workers discuss working for E-Land, the struggle for labour rights, and the history of the company (thanks, CINA).