Around 160,000 members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions took industrial and protest action on 1 April. Some 120,000 workers at 231 workplaces struck for four hours.
The protest was over two new laws which the KCTU argue will clear the way for accelerated casualisation of Korea’s workforce. Some 60% of all Korean workers are now employed on “temporary” or “irregular” contracts.
KCTU unions are using their bargaining strength at plant level to gain regular status for casual employees. Last year, unions at the Coca-Cola Korea Bottling Company were successful in contract negotiations to achieve permanent status for casual workers.