With 400 jobs on the line, labor activist continues 15-day subzero sit-in

Posted on : 2011-01-21 14:38 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
The KCTU has called upon Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction to end layoffs in the manufacturing sector

Kim Gwang-soo, Staff Writer 


Enforcement fines of one million Won ($891) per day have been levied since Monday against Kim Jin-suk, 51, a member of the direction committee for the Busan office of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). The KCTU has been holding a protest to call on Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) to end their layoffs. Kim’s protest, from the 35-meter high driver’s seat of a vessel crane at HHIC’s Yeongdo shipyard amid subzero weather, marks its fifteenth day Friday. When Kim refused to call off the protest even after the company received Jan. 6 court ruling for her removal and an injunction prohibiting her entrance to the worksite, the company requested indirect enforcement from the court.

An official at Busan District Court said, “If someone does not pay the enforcement fine, we can confiscate their real estate and request an auction.”

Kim now also has to pay large amounts of compensation. The company filed a lawsuit against Kim, KCTU, and the labor union requesting 110 million Won in damages, claiming that it has had to pay large late charges to ship owners because of the halt to ship construction work from her protest and labor union obstructions of operations.

The company charges that in addition to the loss from being unable to engage in shipbuilding because of the crane’s occupation, it is also suffering enormous tangible and intangible damages due to the long-term protest, including diminished external confidence.

“They claim they are levying the enforcement fine according to the system, but it is cruel to request a fine over someone calling for guarantees of the right to live for socially disadvantaged farmers and workers,” said Kim Hyeong-gu, secretary-general of the Busan-area human rights group Solidarity for Labor Human Rights.

Kim Jin-suk, who in January 2010 held a hunger strike in front of the Yeongdo shipyard to demand that HHIC withdraw its plans for layoffs, climbed up into the vessel crane to begin her protest on Jan. 6 after the company once again notified the union on Dec. 15 of its plans to lay off 400 manufacturing workers.


Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]



Most viewed articles