Harsh retribution

Posted on : 2011-01-04 14:33 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST

Female subcontractors that maintain and clean school facilities in Hongik University, Seoul, engage in a sit-in demonstration in front of the president’s office, demanding a meeting with the president and withdrawal of dismissals, Jan. 3.

Around 170 subcontractors in their 50s and 60s were fired last month as the university management terminated a contract with the service company that hired them. It was just several days after they organized a labor union in early December. The contracts of the subcontractors who were charge of cleaning, maintenance and security were in place since 1998 when South Korea was hit by foreign currency crisis, even though the service company hiring them changed. The only defense at this time was the fact that they made a labor union for improving treatment.

The workers usually worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but earned a net income of about 750,000 Won ($668) and just 9,000 Won for lunch a month. They have shown strong determination to continue sits-in until they can work again.

Dongguk University and Dongduk Women’s University have both faced similar situations.

(Photo by Kim Tae-hyung, Story by Jeon Jong-hwi)    

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