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COVID-19 Crisis: KPTU Marks May Day Calling for Protections for All Workers


KPTU Marks May Day Calling for Protections for All Workers

Today, May 1, the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union (KPTU) commemorated the 130th May Day with a rally at Seoul Station, one of many small-scale actions held by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) affiliates around the country. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to a constriction of the global economy and the loss of employment for millions of workers in Korea and around the world, KCTU is calling for a moratorium on dismissals, guarantee of income for vulnerable groups, expansion of the social safety net and abolition of precarious work.

The KPTU' rally reflected these demands, in particular highlighting the plight of aviation workers and workers in the Incheon Airport-Yeongjong region. KPTU members also stressed the importance of expansion of public healthcare and social services and expansion of public sector jobs in the after-Covid-19 world.

"It has been the labour of public sector workers that made it possible to stop the spread of Covid-19 and keep society running,&" said KPTU President Junsik Choi, addressing the group of roughly 700 members. President Choi called on members to unite to fight to protect all workers who have been victimised by the economic crisis, the majority of whom are in non-standard forms of employment.

Jeongnam Kim, Branch President for the KPTU Asiana KO Branch, representing baggage handlers and cabin cleaners now facing redundancy also spoke. "When our industry is doing well, workers are driven to death with overwork and fatigue. Now that it is in crisis, we are the first to be laid off," he stressed.

Following the rally, participants marched to the headquarters of Korean Air, calling on airlines to take responsibility for all workers in their contracting chains and the government to require all companies in the industry to maintain employment.