| KGEU Breaking News #2 4th November 2004|
The Korean government's suppression of the KGEU is getting tough and bitter. On 31st of October, the Public Sector Unions Solidarity which the KGEU has joined held a rally in Seoul. Around ten thousand public sector workers including government employees participated in the rally, but more than 6 thousand riot cops blockaded the rally venue and looked into government employees who were trying to join the rally. 44 government employees were arrested. A KPSU member who resisted illegal questioning by the police was beaten up by the riot cops. The detainees were released 27 hours later. The General Secretary of the Public Services International, Hans Engelberts, the President of the Nordic Council of Civil Servants Unions, Jens Andrésson and other foreign trade unionists were present at this event.
On 4th of November, the Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs, HUH Sung Kwan, and the Minister of Justice, KIM Seung Kyu held a joint press conference and announced a statement on KGEU's general strike. They announced that "a strike of government employees who are the servants for the state and people is a challenge to the government and people, and cannot be tolerated." In addition, they emphasized that "KGEU's strike will cause enormous suffering and discomfort to people with paralyzing essential government functioning, and will bring about social disturbance with damaging official discipline of civil service and legalism of the state." They added that the government will, at any costs, establish legalism of the state against KGEU's strike. They claimed that any collective activities including industrial ballots concerning the strike are crimes that shall be dealt with as penal offenses according to Public Officials Acts. They persisted that the prime movers of these will be excluded from civil services and all the participants will be taken to strict disciplinary measures as well as legal punishment. And also they warned that “any local governments which are not dealing with KGEU's strike as strict as the state government policies indicate, causing suffering and discomfort to people, will be given administrative and financial disadvantages such as suspension of special subsidies and exclusion from major government projects.”
And CHOI Ki Moon, Chief of the National Police Agency, held a meeting with commissioners of metropolitan and regional police agencies nationwide on 4th of November as well and issued orders on KGEU's 'illegal collective activities'. He stated that "industrial ballots, rallies and strikes planned by the KGEU are illegal collective activities violating existing laws." Specifically his orders include "arrests of KGEU leaders before its industrial ballots, blockading of the KGEU ballots with demand of local governments and ministries concerned, and arrests of those who participate in illegal rallies and demonstrations etc."
Nov. 6th All KGEU Branches' Simultaneous Rallies nationwide
Nov. 9th-10th KGEU's Industrial Ballots
Nov. 11th KGEU Central Committee
Nov. 11th-12th Work-to-Rule in All KGEU Branches and Chapters
Nov. 12th Press Conference on Launching a General Strike
Nov. 13th People's Rally
Nov. 14th Annual National Workers' Rally in Seoul
Nov. 15th KGEU General Strike