> Cover Story
Give Voices to the Long Lasting Strike
By Jo Hee-won  |  heewondd@hanyang.ac.kr
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[8호] 승인 2010.09.01  
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

   During the vacation, Hanyangians who walked out of the Aejimoon could not ignore the various banners and tents in front of the New Administration Building. On hHot summer days with the temperature going up to 30 degrees Celsius, 67 female officers and members who constitute Hanyang University Assistant Officer’s Labor Union (HUAOLU) have been out on strike demanding their rights since May 26. HUAOLU built a tent and is holding an all-night demonstrations. They not only held a strike, but also helad various events as a part of their ongoing demonstration. They held a Workers-Students Joint Hanmadang oin Aug 12th, and a candlelight vigil oin July 14th. Since HUAOLU started its demonstrations, the members of the HUAOLU have been trying to communicate with all the Hanyangians. As mentioned above, they held the joint event with some Hanyangians, expressed their opinion by putting up banners in front of the administration building, and continuously posted writings on the online Hanyang University’s community, which indicated their position and situation. However, some members side of the Hanyangian community areis against HUAOLU’s strike and its conduct. Hanyangians are not the only group who complains about the strike. In the situation of continuing strike for up to 90 days, the school administration, and even HUAOLU is also having difficulty because of the strike. So,Then who is to blame for the long lasting strike? And what actions can Hanyangians take?

The Beginning of the HUAOLU’s strike
   The strike itself is making the school administration, HUAOLU, and Hanyangians a very uneasy days on campus. To figure out the solution to this situation, it is necessary to ascertain how the strike starteds.
   There are three classes of workering classes in HYU’s office system; A, B and C. A’s payment is 100%, B is paid 80& and C is paid 65&. A are the ones hired as the executive officers who work in HYU’s head office and B’ is are hired as officials in the technical posts. C’s jobs, for those who can be called the school’s assistant officers, are is the issue of the strike. Actually, the only thing C workers and B workers do are not have in common is that C workers once had the titlname of irregular school assistants in the 1990s. They were originally employed as irregular assistant officers. In 2003, the school administration re-employed 67 of the school assistants as regular workers, and named them school assistant officers.
   The school administration classified its workers by its employment system and tasks. However, C workers insist that the school administration treats them with discrimination although they do the same tasks as with some of the B-level workers. Kim Mie-ock, the president of the HUAOLU, said, “The school administration treats us as normal workers in the work place. We do the same tasks as the  with other B workers, but when it comes to welfare and payment, we are treated like just another irregular assistant officer.” So, the 67 school assistant officers have organized the HUAOLU in 2007, and they gave their voice to their claims regaarding their welfare benefits. The first set of negotiations between the school administration and the HUAOLU was held on October 13th, 2009, but the school administration canceled the negotiation after only three meetings times and so on March 26, 2010, was the start of the current whole chaos.

Other Views on the Strike
   As mentioned above, while the strike has lasted for nearly 100 days, there are various opinions from various groups about on the HUAOLU’s strike. In the situation of long lasting strike situation, the group who is blamed is the ones who takes big action.
   For instance, in the graduation ceremony on August 20th, 2010, the banners were contemporarily withdrawn because of the General Student Association’s (GSA) request. According to the GSA, on the day before the graduation ceremony, there were a lot of requests and suggestions by Hanyangians about withdrawing the banners on the HYU online community. Most of them demanded that the graduation ceremony should be a memorable day for the graduates, and it is unfair for the HUAOLU’s strike to ruin it. This objection is just thea tip of an iceberg, however. An anonymous Hanyangian expressed his uncomfortable feelings about with the strike by saying, “I could not understand the HUAOLU’s conduct. The campus belongs to Hanyangians. They do not own it. Knowing that, how could they shout on campus? Whether their strike is legal or not, the method is wrong.” Also, Jung Jin-woo, a senior from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, raised a question. Jung said, “If the school assistant officers decided to be employed as the school’s assistant officers at that time, it was kind of an approval to be in that minor position.”
   However, is HUAOLU the only one group who is to blame? In this caseconnection, the school administration stated its intentions but has not come up with a solution for this phenomenon. They said, “There are some officers who returned back to their offices. In this situation, stating another opinion on the strike would only make this situation worse. Apart from the strike thing, the school administration has a lot of work.” If the school administration has takentook HUAOLU’s request seriously or at least made a meeting to have further dialogueconversation, would the strike have lasted until now?

Hanyangians Are Not on the Sidelines
   As the strike is lasting a long time, Hanyangians are complaining about it more and more. Then, should Hanyangians wait until the strike ends by itself? The answer is no. Hanyangians already know that they are the owner of the school, and have the right to raise give their voices ion this situation.
Meanwhile, the 38th GSA maintains its neutrality. Because the strike is a matter between the school administration and HUAOLU, GSA is not taking any action and staying as the third party. Shim Dae-choel, the headpresident of GSA policy said, “The 38th GSA is pledged to remain politically neutral, so it is not sure whether some plans would be undertaken.” The GSA also stated that it has a plan to take further action when Hanyangians’ complaints about  on the strike is getting worse.
   Maeng sue-wan, the vice president of HUAOLU said, “We are feeling sorry for the noise and bad appearance on campus. But, before opposing the strike because of these artificial things, I wish Hanyangians will think about why the strike is lasting this long and help us. As long as we started the strike, we could not finish our struggle until the school administration starts a real conversation with us.” HUAOLU wants Hanyangians to rush into the situation. Since Hanyangians are the main members of HYU, the school administration could not ignore the Hanyangians’ requests. Although every Hanyangians does not have the same perspective about the strike, they all know that the strike has to be finished as soon as possible. Kim Il-gon, the president of the Korean University Worker’s Union emphasized the importance of students’ opinions, “A school does not only work with officers and the administration but also the students. A school has to respect all members of the community - officers, teaching staffs, and students, which is why negotiations are is difficult. However, in this situation, if the students express their opinion that they do not want the more strike to continue, the school’s administration would negotiate with the labor union to satisfy its students’ requests.” Kim added, “The biggest issue of the HYU’s situation is that the school administration does not respect the minority. If the strike ends well with Hanyangians, HYU is taking a step towardof democratization ion their administration process. It could also work well in the struggle for administration fee .” 
Empty Voice or Right Voice
   Since the strike started, there have been lots of comments on HYU’s free board online. Some of them oppose the strike, some of them give support, or some of them just ignore it and simply wants it to come to an end. Though each of them has different ideas on the strike, the ideas reach the same conclusion; the strike has to come to an end.
However, considering the situation, it is difficult for the strike to finish the way it is. The school administration is not changing its opinion, and neither is the so does HUAOLU. Then, to find out the solution, Hanyangians haves to find common ground compromise itself. As the main members of HYU, Hanyangians haves to give their voices to both the school administration and the HUAOLU. As long as Hanyangians are using the campus, they are not on the sidelines.     Instead of like a writing on the online HYU free board, an official statement or public hearing among the school administration, HUAOLU and Hanyangians, seems to be necessary. The strike could only be finished when Hanyangians exercise their right to use the campus peacefully and all members of the Hanyang community can work together to end the strike once and for all. 
   Further, WHY did some of the C-level employees go back to work?! A quote from one of them would strengthen the reporting a bit more in my opinion.

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