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Radical Leftist Union to Represent S. Korean Government Workers

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, whose goons most recently gained infamy with an anti-anti-North Korean protest that blocked the U.S. Ambassador from attending a media interview, will now represent South Korean government workers. The KCTU has a long history of violent and thuggish protests, reflexive anti-Americanism,* and sympathetic dealings with the North Korean regime. The KCTU is the more radical of South Korea’s two largest labor organizations, the other being the Federation of Korean Trade Unions.

The Korean Government Employees’ Union yesterday decided to officially join the nation’s progressive labor umbrella organization, heralding a major transition of the labor movement in Korea.

KGEU’s participation will make the Korean Confederation of Trade Union, currently the second-largest, the nation’s largest labor organization with more than 800,000 members.

Like virtually all Americans, I’m generally in favor of unions’ rights to organize and compete in free labor markets. I don’t favor closed shops; I believe that unions should compete like businesses or political parties in open elections for union representation.

As many countries have learned, however, you get big problems when the same unions that represent workers in private industries also represent workers in the government. In the United States, there are two completely different sets of laws for federal and private labor relations. There’s nothing unfair about that in a society where you don’t have to work for the government. The idea is to keep union politics out of the affairs of government and keep strikes from shutting the government down. That means that the goverment will reflect the political views of the voters, not those of the union leaders. Getting the KCTU mob mixed up in the government bodes very ill for Korea’s future as a mature democracy.

Mark my words: the KCTU will want to turn the government into its own closed shop, will try to meddle in the affairs of government, and will resist with violence when the government tries to root it out.

Appendix: Why I Boycott Both Koreas

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

– Lifelong worker, union member, and philosopher Eric Hoffer

I see you are bleeding, says the passerby to the man who adopted and raised him. Allow me to pour some salt were the bone protrudes. On September 17, 2001, the KCTU hauled forth this hackneyed screed of Marxist cliches and contorted blame-the-victim logic:

It is widely acknowledged that the U.S. is widely and deeply implicated in various acts of “crime” against various peoples around the world, especially those who are seen to be small and weak. Many Koreans identify themselves as victims of such “crimes” – crimes of willful acts, acts of aggression or callousness and arrogance, or even acts in fear and ignorance — perpetrated by the U.S. (Even the “handling” of the “accusation” of “crimes” is received as further crimes stemming from callousness and arrogance.)
. . . .

We must reflect on the recent incidents with two clear eyes. We must grieve the death of thousands of people, paying respects to the dead and condolences to their families.

At the same time, we must also remember all those people of smaller and weaker nations who have died at the receiving end of the “precision” fire power of the mighty military capacity of the U.S. The American conglomerate media has carried live broadcasts of U.S. attack on various countries, as if they were computer games, blinding the spectators of the death and pain of the real people at the other end.

We are concerned that when the U.S. launches its attack on Afghanistan, the world media is portray it as an “air show” of computer game-like high-tech weaponry. How will people of the world rise to find real solutions to real pains, and real angers of real people?

We are also concerned that there are groups which are set to gain profit from all the terror attacks and wars which everyone must oppose. The military-industry complex is set to profit enormously from the imminent U.S. attack. They are intent on driving the death of thousands of people and the grief felt by all of Americans and the people all over the world into a war frenzy.

While the war may start out as an effort to seek “retribution”, it will soon be turned into a war which will be driven by the thirst for profit among the nexus of the military-industry complex and hawkish Bush Administration.

Fuck these people, and fuck the nags they rode in on. You can’t craft policies to please people who are incapable of containing their glee while your wives, children, and parents are being slaughtered. Why don’t I don’t buy anything made in Korea anymore? Because these septic ingrates–who, thanks to decades of American largesse, go home to a shiny appliances, cable TV, and the Internet–probably made it.