GM South Korea: Daewoo Irregular Workers Win Reinstatement!

Dear Friends and Comrades,

We write to bring you encouraging news. On February 2, one day before the Lunar New Year, the management of GM Daewoo signed an agreement committing to reinstate all 15 members of the GM Daewoo Irregular Workers Chapter of the Korean Mental Workers Union who were laid off over three years ago. Accordingly, the two valiant union members who had been living and protesting on the arch in front of the GM Daewoo factory for over 60 days concluded their struggle and are now in recovery. The Chapter President, Sin Hyeon-chang, also ended his hunger strike after 45 days.

The specific content of the agreement is as follows:

- 9 union members laid off after closure of the in-house subcontractor they were employed by: will be rehired by a subcontractor within the one following the 1-year anniversary of the end of the union chapter’s protest, (by the end of January 2013).

- 5 union members laid off for disciplinary reasons: will be rehired by a subcontractor within 6 months following the 2-year anniversary of the end of the protest (by the end of July 2013).

- 1 union member employed by a GM Daewoo parts supplier (secondary subcontractor): will be rehired by a subcontractor within the same period as the 5 union members above.

This agreement represents an important victory for the GM Daewoo irregular workers. Through their efforts, and the efforts of countless supporters in Korea and internationally, GM Daewoo was forced to agree to reinstatement all workers in question, a measure which the management had previously refused to carry out. This is truly a significant achievement.

The fight for direct employment and regularization of in-house subcontracted irregular workers, however, must go on. The lessons GM Daewoo irregular workers have learned over the last three years and the overwhelming solidarity shown them will surely be important weapons in the struggle to come.

The support from unions and activists overseas was tremendously important in sustaining the protesting workers and pressuring the GM Daewoo management. To all who sent solidarity messages and protest letters, our deepest gratitude!

Sincerely,

Committee to Support the GM Daewoo Irregular Workers’ Struggle