|▲ Participants in the rally held on January 19 in central Seoul call for the punishment of those responsible for the death of the late Kim Yong-gyun and the probe into the fatal accident. [Yang Ou-ram/The Labor Today]|
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy(MOTIE) and the Ministry of Employment and Labor(MOEL) on January 18 jointly issued a press release simply composed of four sentences. The statement contained that a ‘special occupational safety investigation committee’ led by Prime Minister will be set up to analyse the reasons of serious industrial accidents of the coal-fired thermal power plants, among others. It also announced a plan to discuss the permanent employment of contingent workers who are engaged in the work handling fuels, operation of environmental facilities and regular repairs in the thermal power plants.
It was a government response to the demand of a civic countermeasures committee for the late Kim Yong-gyun, a 24-year old contingent worker who was found dead at dawn while on his duty to check the operation facilities at the Taean Thermal Power Plant on December 11 last year. The government, however, did not mention about the measures which deemed essential to prevent the recurrence of accidents such as the punishment of those responsible for the accident and the suspension to the outsourcing of harmful and hazardous business.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) on January 19 organized a workers’ rally to call for the halt to the outsourcing of dangerous business and the probe into the fatal accident and punishment of those who are responsible for the death of the late Kim Yong-gyun. About 10,000 citizens and workers participated in the rally, holding signs that “I am Kim Yong-gyun” and “No to irregular jobs.”
reported by Yang Ou-ram
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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