Saturday, 28 February 2009

Action Alert – Protest Sth Korean President - Sydney, March 4, 5.30pm

Action Alert – Protest at Dictatorial Sth Korean President visits Sydney, March 4, 5.30pm, 488 George St

President Lee Myung-bak and his ruling Grand National Party is attacking workers rights and democratic rights in South Korea

Protest at his Sydney visit - Wednesday March 4, 2009, 5.30pm-7pm

Hilton Hotel, 488 George St, Sydney

Organised by Korean Resource Centre

Contact KRC President Joon Shik Shin 0409-887-388

  • Amending Irregular Worker Law to extend the amount of time, from two years to four, that companies can employ irregular workers before having to offer them regular employment contracts

  • Amended Broadcasting Law to allow giant conglomerates and ruling party to control television

The Irregular Worker Law amendment will spread into a new social conflict. Korean Confederation of Trade Unions spokesperson Woo Moon-sook said, “We will respond with all our energy throughout February standing up to the government and the Grand National Party as they declare war on the people with legislation that goes against the people’s wishes.”

The bill to revise the Broadcasting Law, submitted by Rep. Na Kyung-won of the ruling Grand National Party to the National Assembly, is aimed at fully allowing conglomerates/chaebol, newspaper companies and news agencies to make inroads into broadcast news companies, terrestrial broadcasting companies or comprehensive broadcasting companies. Under the proposed revision, conglomerates/chaebol, newspaper companies and news agencies with up to 10 trillion won (A$10.15 billion) in assets each will be able to buy up to a 20 percent stake in a terrestrial broadcasting company and up to a 49 percent stake in a broadcast news or comprehensive broadcasting company. The ownership limit for individual shareholders would be raised to 49 percent from the current 30 percent and foreign companies would be allowed to hold up to a 20 percent stake in a broadcasting company.

The GNP’s move is aimed at changing broadcast journalism to give the GNP a monopoly over public opinion and help it gain a favorable portrayal of the party in the media, giving chaebol and the three major conservative newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo, the JoongAng Ilbo and the DongA Ilbo a window of opportunity through which to enter the broadcasting industry.

The GNP has accused terrestrial broadcasters of making it impossible for the party to win the presidential elections of 1997 and 2002, which were won by liberal candidates and often cause conservative politicians to talk about the necessity of making up for a “lost decade.” If the Broadcasting Law were revised as the GNP proposes, and one of the three major conservative newspapers and a conglomerate were each to buy a 20 percent stake in a terrestrial broadcasting company, the combined share could give the two entities joint ownership of the company. Because conservative dailies virtually dominate the newspaper market, some say the combination of money and media power could obliterate the media’s function of monitoring politicians and the chaebol, especially if chaebol are allowed to own broadcasting companies.

Stop the union busting in South Korea!

No comments: