News & Statements

KPTU Statement in Solidarity with Anti-Racism Protests


KPTU Stands in Solidarity with Workers and People of Color fighting for
Racial Justice and Equality in the US and Globally

Justice for George Floyd!
Fund public services, not the police!
Black lives matter. Black workers' labor matters too.

Since George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white policeman on May 25 in Minneapolis, protests for racial justice and economic equality have spread across the United States. They have now grown into a global movement with people from all walks of life taking to the streets in cities around over the weekend.

These protests represent an explosion of anger at structural racism, which, fueled by the militarization of the police, has led to the hyper policing of black and brown communities and the violent killings of countless individuals in the last several years.

They are also a critique of the racial and economic inequality exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to labor market segregation and unequal access to healthcare and other social support, black Americans are 3 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than white Americans. Black people and people of color or more likely to be laid off and have a harder time getting re-employed than white people, yet they are disproportionately represented among frontline workers fighting the virus. By now the United States should have learned. #BlackLivesMatter. And black workers' labor matters too.

The news in South Korea has not done justice to the protests, choosing to focus on images of looting and damage to Korean American business. However, we know that the real significance of the protests lie elsewhere - in the movement&rsquos called for the defunding and dismantling of police departments and the funding of public services and new forms of community safety.

We are deeply encouraged by the fact that, in response to these just demands, local governments in the US have begun to reigning in excessive police force and are now moving to restructuring police forces and reorient their budgets towards community needs.

We have also been deeply inspired by workers and s in the United States who have taken courageous acts of solidarity, putting out statements of unconditional support for the protests, coming out into the streets and refusing to transport police or arrested protesters. As part of the global labor movement we express our thanks for these principled actions, which are expressions of the principles we share.

Although they take different forms in different countries, racism and economic inequality are global problems, which can only be truly overcome through a fundamental restructuring of the global political-economic system. KPTU will continue to fight in solidarity with workers and people of color in the U.S. around the world until that day comes.

8 June 2020
Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union