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  • 작성자 사진Yang Ha-yoon

[Issue] Workers’ Human Rights Are Threatened

No.158 / Jun 13, 2022

Im Jong-rin, the chairman of the Paris Baguette branch of the Hwaseom Food Union, decided to finish a hunger strike at 11 a.m. on May 19, 2022. The reason for this protest is that SPC headquarters did not protect even the basic human rights of workers and abused them. Even though lots of people have joined in the strike, SPC has not admitted its wrongdoing or offered a proper resolution. Another incident about workers’ human rights occurred in CGV. Due to the social distancing policy resultant of COVID-19, only a small number of employees have been working at movie theaters in recent years. However, despite the policy being lifted, CGV headquarters did not issue instructions to restore personnel as usual. As a result, the small number of employees are overworked because they have to be involved in far more tasks than they should.

As mentioned earlier, problems related to the human rights of workers have constantly occurred in Korea. the scale of the low levels of awareness of workers’ human rights in Korea can be confirmed through the Global Labor Rights Index produced by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The Global Labor Rights Index is a collection of cases of worker rights violations from 163 countries around the world, and a comprehensive review of expert surveys, dividing all countries into six grades. According to the announcement, Korea has never been out of grade 5 since 2014. This result proves that most workers in our country are not even guaranteed basic rights. In practical terms, it means there is no legal right to labor in our country. Korea has achieved remarkable development, ranking 10th in the world among countless countries. The nation was able to grow into one of the major economic powers owing to the hard work of countless workers for economic development. However, the time and labor they contributed to the development of the country are not being rewarded as much as they deserve.

Individual, social, and national efforts are required to ensure that workers are treated better and that they can work in a more comfortable and secure environment than the present scenario. On an individual level, people should not consume goods of companies that exploit workers. On a societal level, various forms of support should be provided to prevent vulnerable workers from being alienated from society. Finally, on a national level, the system should be improved so that legal protection devices can include all working people regardless of the type of employment. Just as the official letter that sent by General Confederation of Labour (CGT) saying that they would condemned SPC and unite with Im Jong-rin's struggle, constant efforts for workers' human rights will surely return to valuable results. Whether they are full-time or non-regular, temporary or non-permanent, it is important that every worker enjoys the rights they deserve, and not be limited by methods of employment.


By Yang Ha-yoon, AG Cub Reporter

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