We, Jinbonet want to share some current issues in Korea with you.
1. As you know, we're fighting AGAINT POSCO, FOR THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.
POSCO has ignored rehiring the workers despite of the decisions by local and central labor relations committee, the verdict of the High Court, the order by the National Audit Board, and the order of the President according to the agreement between the KCTU and the government. And finally tried to take away the workers' freedom of expression by adapting the law of intellectual property onto the anti/parody site.
In early 1997, POSCO, a South Korean multinational, bought part of the Sammi Specialty Steel Co., and ignoring a collective agreement to rehire Sammi workers, forced two thousand out a total workforce of 2,342 out onto the street.
For the last three years, 200 former Sammi workers have carried on fighting for their reinstatement, winning court orders which have consequently been ignored by POSCO.?They set up the AntiPOSCO Website, a parody site modeled on the POSCO site, to express their rightful claims and publicize their plight. Now that Website is being attacked by POSCO, as a supposed infringement of copyright.
Join APC, JinboNet (APC's partner in South Korea), NodongNet and the Sammi workers in their fight for freedom of expression on the Internet.
2. Jinbonet has updated the ENGLISH NEWS page.
Jinbonet lauched an english page for the current issues of social movements in South Korea. This month we updated the audio-visual vivid news of the people's struggle on general strike in South Korea! Please visit and solidarity!
3. Richard Stallman and COPYLEFT campaign
Jinbonet have opposed the patent of Internet Business Model and filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics. In June 18th, Richard Stallman of Free Software Foundation will give a speech on the software patent on the invitation of Jinbonet, separatedly from his official schedule for LINUX 2000 held by Korea Ministry of Infomation and Communication. Especially Jinbonet plan to issue the Copyleft campaign for the NGO's hompages.
Recently, Linux is expanded very rapidly in Korea, while the philosophy of Copyleft is not enlarged as much. Richard Stallman, the GNU Project maker already gave a warning about this situdation and have insisted on GNU/Linux, not just Linux. His speech will be a valuable oppotunity for Korean people and activists to think back about the meaning of sharing of information in Korea society.
<reference> a letter from
WALDEN ASSET MANAGEMENT
A Division of united States Trust Company of Boston
May 25, 2000
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Pohang Iron & Steel Co., Ltd.
1 Koodong-dong, Nam-ku, Pohang City
Kyougsangbuk-do, 790-600, Korea
Dear Mr. Yoo, Sang-Boo
Walden Asset Management, a division of United States Trust Company of Boston, is an investment manager with $1.2 billion in assets under management for clients concerned about the social and environmental practices, as well as the financial performance, of the companies in which they invest.
We are writing on behalf of our clients who own 7,000 shares in Pohang Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. (POSCO) to express concern about POSCO's treatment of former workers of Sammi Specialty Steel Co. (Sammi). Along with our clients, we believe workers should hev ethe right to collectively bargain with their employers if they so chose, and workers and employers should respect collective agreements. We understand that since 1997, POSCO has noe rehired approximately 245 former Sammi workers after POSCO subsidiary Changwon Specialty Steel Co. Purchased the company, contrary to the collective agreement that thad been in force for over ten yearswitht he workers and their union, the Sammi Speiclaty Steel Worekrs's Union. We understand that many of these workers were active union supporters including union officials and shop stewards.
POSCO's treatment of the Sammi workers appears contrary to the company's stated goal of biding b Indternational standards in its operations. POSCO's web site states: "We should not stick to our old rules. Today, we can survive only if we transform ourselves to accept global standards." We are concerned that a committee of the International Labor Organization investgated POSCO for alleged infringement of trade union rights and recommended that the Korean ranked POSCO second out of over 240 Asian companies for being a good employer, and eighth overall for being honest and ethical. We believe that POSCO's good reputation is threatened by the Sammi case.
We encourage POSCO to reinstate the former Sammi workers as directed by the Seoul High Court in January 1999. We are concerned that POSCO has not reinstated workers despite rulings by the High Court and the Central Labour Relations Commission to reinstate the workers and promises by Korean President Kim Dae-jung to reinstate them.
We believe that POSCO has an opportunity to take a positive step to promote good labor relations with its employees by resolving the Sammi case. We hope that POSCO is not underestimating the potential to impact negatively the company's reputation and employee relations if it does not abide by the Soul High Court's ruling to reinstate the former Sammi workers. Such an impact could pose financial risk to the company.
We seek to hear your view on these matters and look forward to your reply.
Please direct your comments to my colleague, Steven Heim, at 1-617-695-5296
(telephone) or 1-617-695-4773 (facsimile).
Walden Asset Management
Republic of Korea President Kim Dae-jungRepublic of Korea Labor Minister Choi Sun-jung
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
Federation of Korean Trade Unions
Korean Metal Workers' Federation
International Metalworkers' Federation
Investing for social change since 1975
40 Court Street, Boston MA 02108
Tel: (617) 726-7250 or (617) 726-7290
Fax: (617) 695-4150
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