Friday, July 25, 2008

율동 in the rain! E-land women workers' struggle

In the shadow of the World Cup Stadium, Seoul, irregular women workers of the Homever store have set up a tent where they sleep every night, and every Friday, they hold a cultural rally that calls attention to their unjust firing. They are right there, unavoidable, for all the shoppers that emerge out of the subway exit.

The issue of irregular workers in Korea and the timeline of these women workers' struggle with the multinational e-land are very well summed-up in this series of articles (Riot police and young mothers face to face in Seoul, Asian Human Rights Commission )

Source: UNI Commerce Global Union

Immediate ironies: 1. The Homever store, branding itself as 'Sweet home forever' while firing single moms and lower-income workers so that they can't get benefits under the law- so 'home' is essentially a brand, but only consumable by the middle and upper class...

2. The World Cup stadium where Homever is located, formerly the stage of crazy nationalist-soccer fever in 2002, now a mall full of part-time contracted workers who have no benefits -
As it poured, student groups and union groups came out and performed 율동 to movement songs like 얼굴 찌프리지 말아요, smiling. In some ways, the rain transformed the event because everyone performing was vulnerable to it, and yet, soaked, it seemed to make people's spirits lift higher. Imagine it: a car pointing its headlights at a tent, lighting up the faces of students and union leaders singing, dancing, acting... I had gone to arrange the meeting for KEEP, and found myself staying until the end,

The tent where the striking workers sleep, next to the store...

KEEP 2008 makes its big debut at the Friday cultural rally in a few weeks--