* Texts from Steve Zeltzer on Dec. 18, 2010
UAW: Korean workers’ fight is our fight
by: JOHN RUMMEL
December 9 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The movement for global justice got a big lift this week, when Hyundai Motor Co. found out its unjust treatment of autoworkers in South Korea will not go unnoticed in the U.S. That "lift" came on a bitterly cold Michigan day, when the United Auto Workers and a host of supporters demonstrated outside the Hyundai America Technical Center here, in support of striking autoworkers at the Hyundai Motor Company in Ulsan, South Korea.
Known around the world as "precarious" workers but in the U.S. as temporary workers, the Korean autoworkers have been waging a sit-down strike since Nov. 15. The strike began after company thugs attacked protesting workers and prevented them from going to their workplace. Hyundai insisted the workers withdraw their membership in the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU) if they wanted an opportunity to continue working.
The Dec. 6 UAW demonstration took place on short notice, on a windswept country road where the Hyundai Tech Center is located. Still, a hundred strong showed up to express their solidarity.
UAW President Bob King, who along with three other UAW leaders will be leaving this Friday to travel to South Korea to meet with the Metal Workers Union, said, "What we confront today is a global problem for workers. Bosses all over the world, even tremendously profitable corporations like Hyundai, are trying to reduce the number of permanent workers, and expand the number of temporary workers."
King noted that the UAW along with other manufacturing unions built the middle class in the United States. "When autoworkers, steelworkers, machinists and teamsters got good wages, public employees were able to demand and win good wages, service sector employees were able to demand and win good wages," King said.
"We have an unbelievable disparity between the very wealthiest in society and the working and poor class in society," the UAW president said. "The only way we are going to win justice for American workers, for Korean workers, for Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and Bangladesh workers, and workers everywhere, is through global solidarity."
In These Times
UAW President: Critics of Korea Treaty Don’t Represent Worker
By Mike Elk
Dec. 7, 2010
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign’s member organizations
|Korea KCTU Portland Flyer Final.pdf|
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