Title: With the overwhelming power of workers
Subtitle: After our 3rd solidarity protest with DSME subcontracted workers
Author: Malangchism
Date: July 9, 2022
Source: Retrieved on July 9, 2022 from https://libcom.org/article/overwhelming-power-workers
Notes: Originally posted on the Malangchism blog. Translated by Min

Today, July 8, it was hot without rain to a suffocating degree, and with the rainy season in full swing, we would have felt like taking showers had it actually rained. ‘Our mutual aid,’ Malangchism joined the collective protest organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) again to fight in solidarity with the comrades from the dockyard subcontractors branch of Geoje Tongyeong Goseong (GTG; 거제통영고성 조선하청지회). This is our trip to Geoje for the 3rd week, meaning that the strike of comrades from the subcontracted workers of Daewoo Shipbuilding(DSME;대우조선해양) continued on for 32 days, and the struggle where the head of the branch Yoo Choi-an imprisoned himself lasted for 17 days thus far. Even then, there is little progress in the difficult battle of the seven members, including comrade Yoo Choi-an, who is trapped in a steel cage where he cannot even avoid the heat from the iron floor, let alone the rain.

This season is at least equally hellish to everyone, yet DSME and Industrial Bank are showing no intention of removing the hell they have created with their own hands. They have yet to recognize the right to form unions of subcontracted workers, nor do they respond to any demands for negotiations. They do not even try to solve the problem like this, yet try to cover all this as “an emergency for the company's management”. The company says they will face bankruptcy because of a strike of the subcontracted workers. Since they did not even try to resolve the strike through negotiations, it is only natural that the company's management is screwed up. Is it even their position to use the term “emergency” to describe it in the first place? Furthermore, the police are trying to obtain arrest warrants for the three leaders of the subcontractor worker branch of GTG. At the time of the collective protest held due to these blindfolded circlejerking, inside the dock, a group of young men came to the sit-in protest, where a female worker was alone, breaking in while screaming all kinds of abusive language, spraying fire extinguishers, throwing all kinds of furniture and utensils, destroying everything, and even such heinous acts such as throwing a bucket of frozen ice and injuring people.

Of course, the subcontracted worker comrades who continue on with their strike despite the company's sabotage are standing still without moving a step back. Comrade Yoo Choi-an also spoke on speakerphone during the rally until his throat dried up, to tell us who were gathered outside the shipyard, that they will never give up. Gathering at the south gate of Daewoo Shipbuilding and marching to the west gate, the collective protest of the KCTU, attracted even greater number of comrades than at the protest last week where workers from Yeongnam area gathered. ‘Our Mutual Aid’ and Malangchism also headed to Geoje this time, with a larger group than the weeks before. But what were the comrades who gathered doing in Geoje? For what purpose did we gather in Geoje from all over and march in this humid and hot weather? At the same time when so many workers gathered to show their strength, something truly unspeakable was happening right there in the dock that cannot even begin to be described by words like ‘savagery’. What the hell were we doing?

On Saturday, July 23, the Hope Bus to Geoje is being organized once again. It means this time, we have two weeks to organize our front. Let's gather all comrades around us who can participate. Let's gather as many solidarity front as possible. Let everyone who can go to Geoje head there. And this time, let's protect and defend the subcontracted worker comrades front with such overwhelming force so that the gangster scum that is the strike breakers(called “people who save the company”; 구사대) cannot even dare harass them. Let's show them once and for all that they will pay the price for their actions on the very spot, without involving the laws.

P.S. Among the comrades who joined us in solidarity on this Malangchism’s trip to Geoje, there was an anarchist comrade from Switzerland who visited Korea. When I explained to him about the situation in Geoje, various situations felt very tantalizing. Nevertheless, we explained to the comrade why we were going down to Geoje Island, actually, the reason we had to go down, and said:

First, the struggle of subcontracted workers of DSME is the forefront of the current Korean anarcho-syndicalist movement in 2022.

Second, this fight does not stop at beating a single company, which is DSME, but is a collective struggle against capital and the state at the same time.

Last but not least, as we have explained until now, the capitalists are scoffing at the struggle of the subcontracted worker comrades and is desperately making moves to tear it down, but we will overcome it by solidarity that becomes bigger by the day, and will surely win this struggle together.

So let’s all head to Geoje once more.


‘Our Mutual Aid’ Malangchism