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Daewoo Workers See The Ugly Face Of Globalisation

By Mary Yaager, Workers Online, 2 March 2001

Angry unions and community groups protested this week outside the Korean Consulate in Sydney in support of the Daewoo workers and their families who had been violently beaten by Korean police.

Financial mismanagement by Korean Daewoo executives based on huge illegal overseas loans has seen 4,000 workers sacked, with the remainder taking a 30 per cent paycut.

On one occasion more than 4,000 armed police, using forklifts, surrounded and rammed Korean workers and their familes.

Daewoo is now bankrupt; the owner is in hiding; and the Korean Government is seeking to sell Daewoo. General Motors Holden is the only prospective buyer - but on the condition that there is major restructuring.

Daewoo employees are demanding long term job security through public ownership of Daewoo, as was done for Chrysler, VW and Renault by their respective governments. They are demanding no redundancies and no sale to overseas interests.

John Robertson, Assistant Secretary, Labor Council of NSW, said it is important with the continued growth of globalisation that unions also act globally and support the rights of workers to take industrial action.

Paul Bastian, Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said that the threat to jobs and job security is not just at Daewoo. All Korean workers face job insecurity while ever the Korean government adheres to WTO and IMF Free Trade Policies.

Paul went on to say the AMWU completely opposes free trade policies and this is the ugly face of globalisation.