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Speak to Sookmyung: the Workers’ Rally
Hong Kim Gyeongmin  |  smt_kgm@sookmyung.ac.kr
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승인 2018.04.30  18:25:54
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PHOTO BY KGM

On March 19, 2018, a wage increase rally by Sookmyung Women’s University’s workers was held at the main gate of CampusⅠ.  A continuous rally has been held each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since that day and is typically occurring between the hours of 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.  The rallies were being held jointly with the Trade Union and ‘Mannyeonseol (Permanent Snow)’, an organization that has banded together students and Sookmyung Women’s University workers.  “Man” in Mannyeonseol translates to 10,000 and refers to the number of Sookmyungians standing together with workers for fair treatment.  The student group actively participated in the 3-day a week rallies with the workers because of the negotiation breakdown between workers and Sookmyung Women’s University.  The workers are asking for a wage increase that ensures them an acceptable living allowance.  Their movement sparked interest from students who are now determined to help them and stand united with them at the rallies.  As 1 p.m. drew near, people in red vests that read ‘reasonable wages for life’ started appearing and each of them held picket signs.  At the start of the rally, songs were sung, protesters shouted collective slogans, and individuals voiced their opinions.  Cho Deukyong, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Seoul-Incheon Public Section Representative standing in union with Sookmyung Women’s University Affiliated Society President, said, “14 universities have partaken in collective bargaining talks and nearly all have formed agreements; however, Sookmyung Women’s University has yet to close its talks.  We just want Sookmyung to do the same as the other universities.”  One rally participant, a fellow Sookmyungian, said, “I saw the Mannyeonseol’s posting on the community board and became inspired to do something for minorities on campus.  I came to the rally, and I am in awestruck by the passion of other Sookmyungians.  There were more than I imagined.”  She also offered this comment to The Sookmyung Times readers, “It’s time to get rid of the nonsense reason offered by Sookmyung Women’s University, that it faces financial difficulty, because the true victims are the workers who are elderly and weak.  I would love to see more Sookmyungians take an interest in the problem and get it solved sooner than later.”

 

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