KFCITU May Day Rally Focuses on Safety and Health

Dangerous working conditions kills an average of more than two construction workers in South Korea every day.

On May Day workers of BWI's South Korean affiliate KFCITU rallied through the center of Seoul to demand safer working conditions, end of illegal subcontracting and basic labour rights for all workers in the country.

"Construction workers will fight vigorously to change construction sites where more than 1,000 workers die every year," said Lee Yong-dae, president of the KFCITU.

The march followed a truck carrying a big hammer sculpture to symbolize the determination of the construction workers. Regional branches of KFCITU also rallied against several municipal governments, demanding them to regulate unlawful practices of construction companies in their respective jurisdictions.

The Southern Seoul Metropolitan branch and the Gyeonggi provincial government made an agreement on biannual meetings. The Gyeonggi provincial government also agreed to work with the trade union to investigate into unlawful practices in construction sites, including illegal subcontracting, and to develop measures to correct them.

The week before members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions had gone on a general strike against a new anti-union labour reform.

"We must move forward more forcefully to ensure basic labor rights for all workers, to prevent the public servants' pension system from being changed for the worse, to crush fake normalization of public corporations, to get to the bottom of the Sewol tragedy, and to repeal the worthless enforcement decree of the special Sewol Law," said Han Sang-gyun, KCTU President.