A major battle against privatisation in South Korea was continuing this week after rail workers won major concessions and the government threatened a crackdown on striking power workers.
The rail workers’ victory, after two days on strike last week, is a significant blow to President Kim Dae-jung’s privatisation drive. His energy minister said last week, ‘The government will not change its policy on privatisation.’
One day later he signed an accord with the 25,000-strong Korean Railway Workers’ Union that put the sell-off on hold. The state-owned rail company also agreed to cut working hours without loss of pay.
The union is still demanding the reinstatement of sacked union activists. In an effort to regain lost ground, the government is trying to hammer power workers who were on strike against privatisation at the beginning of this week.
SOME 3,000 demonstrators marched to the Israeli embassy in Athens, Greece, on Thursday of last week in support of the Palestinians. The main union bodies in Athens and Piraeus, the city’s port, backed the protest.
So did the teachers’ union, the anti-capitalist campaigns Genoa 2001 and Globalise Resistance, and the organisations of Palestinian workers and students in Greece.
A major protest is planned for Barcelona in Spain next week. The leaders of the European Union are meeting in the city. Globalise Resistance has organised a coach to the protest. It will be leaving London on the morning of Wednesday 13 March.
Tickets cost £85 (£75 concessions). Phone 020 8980 3005 or email [email protected]
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