KCTU Monthly News: November-December 2004
Our Deepest Condolences to Those Who Are Suffering
from the Catastrophic Earthquake and Tidal Waves
in Southeast and West Asia
New Years Greeting
Another intense year has passed all too soon,
and we are now entering into 2005.
The river of time may flow transiently,
however, the KCTU strove through the past year
just as an unhindered torrent runs past any obstacles and straightens any curves.
This year, the obstacles that face the KCTU
are expected to be just as difficult.
Discrimination against irregular workers and the unemployed,
Self-owned businesses and small-to-medium enterprises that are collapsing like dominoes,
Those who have been caught in the trap of bad credit and end up in despair,
The 10 million people who are suffering in the depth of absolute poverty,
Workers who are tormented by the persistent job insecurity from the storm of restructuring.
These people are all losing hope for the future.
Are the dreams of these poor workers, people and peasants truly those
that are impossible to accomplish?
Working five days a week and earning enough to spend.
Developing one?s life through social safety nets and without job insecurity,
Respecting, and not hating, each other whether one is rich or poor,
Is it really impossible to build a society in which the fruits of growth are shared?
No. Our dreams can come true.
Our problem is that we do not dream.
Our society has lost its dream,
and at the same time, the people have lost their hope.
Before we blame others and before we attack others,
we must regain our beautiful dream,
hold out our hands to the citizens standing on the streets of solidarity and action.
We must let them participate in our dream.
In schools the resonant songs of students will ring.
In neighbourhoods during the evenings the scent of shared food will make everyone happy.
In workplaces, hope for the future will abundantly flow.
Unemployment will not be fear but a second chance to leap forward.
Irregular labour will not be punishment from the heavens
but merely a temporary process one can pass through according to one?s own decision.
Strangers will share warm greetings.
Politicians and corporate owners will be more mature and humble.
Media will be concerned with the wellbeing of the socially weak.
Let?s build this kind of world.
Looking at the red ball of fire rising from the east to summon a new year,
let?s regain the dreams that we had lost.
Dreams are for those who dream,
and it is only those who dream that can change history.
Let more streams gather to make a larger river
and let the river gush forth like a torrent.
Let?s do away with all the falsehood and idealism.
Let?s build a dream of new hope, of peoples? hope,
of reunification, peace and self-determination.
1st January, 2005
Lee Soo Ho,
President, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions