On the 30th of last month, four months before the 20th presidential election, ‘One Million Labor with the People’ was officially launched. One million labor attracted the attention of the labor community when the promotion committee was formed in June.
Return after 10 years. It is an expression of a million labor. As the former Nationalist (Innovation Coalition) forces of the KCTU took a political line supporting the presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo 10 years ago, a sense of distance from the labor community was naturally formed. And now, in 2021, we stand before us again with a million labor.
What has happened in the meantime?
“A political crisis comparable to the extension of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye governments”
“Preparing for a mass social movement group by taking lessons from 10 years ago”
– The background of the birth of million labor.
“I personally looked into Yeouido politics for 10 years. It was possible to see why ‘labor’ was not turned into a political force and was unilaterally ignored in the political arena. It was judged that it was because the labor itself was differentiated. I saw the current situation as a political crisis comparable to the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye eras in the past. We saw that the unity and strengthening of labor is more important than ever, and we started discussing it in November of last year.”
The main pillars of the million labor are those who formed the Labor Political Solidarity Forum among the former nationalist forces. “We wanted to look back on our mistakes and be criticized by our former comrades,” Kang said. He continued, “I saw that the pan-labor community, who entered the political arena, should come together,” he said.
With the goal of ‘democracy with labor’, Million Labor stated, “We will create a powerful social movement and an independent cooperative economic community beyond political power.”
– How is it different from the Labor Political Solidarity Forum, which can be called the predecessor of Million Labor?
“The Labor Forum at that time moved to prevent the extension of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye’s governments. It is still a similar situation. According to opinion polls, more than half of the people want a regime change. Taking a lesson from the failure, Million Labor immediately started planning a business for the next 10 years. Incorporation is being sought for professional, systematic and transparent activities. It will develop into a public organization. To this end, the Future Vision 10-year Special Committee, the Organizational Reinforcement Special Committee, and the Socio-Economic Conversion Special Committee have been established.”
“Reflecting on time spent in vain for 10 years”
“Ahn Cheol-soo, don’t do politics”
– If you look at the people who participated in Million Labor, you cannot separate them from Ahn Cheol-soo. First of all, it seems necessary to explain why I was with him and eventually broke up with him.
“Yes. In 2012, Lee Myung-bak lost to Lee Myung-bak by the largest margin, and Park Geun-hye was the most likely to be elected. At that time, the Labor Forum held a deep discussion for three days and two nights. Under the circumstances of the Lee Myung-bak administration, there was a sense of crisis that labor would be annihilated unless there was a regime change. Progressive parties, such as the dissolution of the Democratic Labor Party and the split of the United Progressive Party, also failed to find their place. He also played for Park Won-soon’s camp during the 2011 Seoul mayoral by-election also had an impact. Seeing Park’s election as Mayor, I decided that for a change of government, a candidate with broad support from citizens and the public, not a political party, was needed. I decided to choose Ahn Cheol-soo as the candidate I can win for regime change.”
– I broke up with Ahn Cheol-soo.
“When I first met Ahn Cheol-soo, I thought he had a leftist temperament. It is true that he believed in his innocence. As a result, I did my best, but I couldn’t help but break up. He gradually shifted to the right (with the founding of the Bareunmirae Party in 2018). found a path to revitalization. He even said that he went to the conservatives to come to power. I struggled with the feeling of being deceived, and I thought ‘this far’. He tried to make a version of ‘Democracy with Labor’ with Ahn Cheol-soo, but he admitted that he made a mistake and apologized politely to his comrades while traveling across the country. I’m still upset 10 years passed in vain. Based on that, we will do anything for a greater future, a democracy with work. I’ll do my best.”
– CEO Ahn Cheol-soo, who broke up like that, runs for the third presidential election. Sovereignty.
“There is no regret. Personally, I want to tell you not to go into politics. As someone who has already seen their essence, attributes, and inner self, I want them to know how to be humble in front of the people and boldly put themselves down rather than standing up.”
– There seems to be a reason why Million Labor was launched ahead of the presidential election. In this presidential election, there are only suspicions of Jang Dong-dong and accusers, and there is a high point of view that labor is not seen.
“Yes. The current presidential election is said to be ‘an election that elects the lesser evil, not the next best’. Despite the fierce competition over the vision of how to manage and revitalize the COVID-19 crisis, and how to tackle the problems of deepening polarization and inequality, this is not the case. Organizational labor is also responsible for the disappearance of the labor agenda. It is in line with the spirit of the times to make unorganized labor and unstable labor such as women, youth, and the elderly on the agenda. We must show our efforts to respect and realize the rights and interests of everyone who works by putting down vested interests.”
“Lee Jae-myung, a candidate for democracy with labor”
Promotion of policy agreement with Lee Jae-myung camp at the end of November
– One million labor is classified as Lee Jae-myung supporters. Why did you choose Lee Jae-myung?
“Personally, I knew Lee Jae-myung before he came into politics. As a human rights lawyer, he helped release the people who were arrested due to the taxi strike. As a boy who ate oil, I saw him respecting and acknowledging the workmanship in the process of coming here. Gyeonggi Province watched the implementation of the Labor Respect Policy. Comrades with a million labor sees Lee as a candidate who puts the highest priority on respect for labor, shares democracy with labor, and keeps promises to the end.”
– Candidate Jae-myung Lee is also working with the Moon Jae-in administration.
“Even though our economy is ranked among the top 10 in the world, the working conditions are really poor. The Moon Jae-in government’s connection with labor was very weak. Although there is an Economic, Social and Labor Committee, the Blue House seems to have given up everything that it wants to connect with labor. The next government should find a solution through constant communication and coordination with labor. It should be a prepared government, such as drawing a sufficient social consensus.”
– What kind of labor agenda is being prepared for 1 million labor to be reflected in the pledge?
“Million Labor presented five visions and ten practical tasks at the inauguration ceremony. Ten years ago, there was no such preparation. Taking lessons from past failures, we are discussing it internally to make it a labor agenda. I believe that collective intelligence is powerful. The 10-year Future Vision Special Committee is analyzing labor policies of local governments that can organize and support workers in unorganized workplaces with fewer than 5 workers who are in the blind spot of the labor law, and is examining ways to institutionalize the labor center model. The Platform Labor Commission, with 250,000 taxi workers in mind, who have turned to the floating class or the opposition, has already drafted a pledge to ‘introduce a policy rate system’. In order to reflect the promise, we will work in solidarity with stakeholders by agenda and promote the candidate Lee Jae-myung camp and policy agreements. In the taxi sector, we discussed the establishment of a TF with camp officials during the primary stage.”
– When will the policy agreement be implemented?
“We are preparing to push forward with a promise that is worthy of the vision presented at the inauguration ceremony at the end of this month. If such a promise is agreed upon, we will do everything we can to win the election of Candidate Jae-myung Lee by concentrating the firepower of one million labor until next year’s presidential election.”
“Overcoming the reality of having nowhere to go after union activist retirement”
“Solidarity and communication for pan-labor union unity”
One Million Labor plans to prepare a business system including 17 city and provincial branch offices through incorporation immediately after the next presidential election. Currently, about 200 current and former executives of the two major labor unions are participating. The plan is to strengthen the national organization with a goal of 1,000 people by the end of the year. “Union activists reach their retirement age without any preparation,” Kang said. “After retirement, we will create a structure where we can work together and share our lives with each other while working in solidarity with each other.”
– At the inauguration ceremony, Lee Yong-deuk and Shin Seung-cheol, representatives of the Labor Square, and Lee Bu-young, the representative of the Citizens’ Solidarity, attended. It was previously suggested that the labor union should be united. relationship with them.
“Before the launch of Million Labor, I visited the senior labor movement seniors and asked for their consent. He told me to do the job of illuminating the dark life after retirement. Gathering all labor unions is an ongoing task. We will continue to strive to create a structure of communication and great integration with the Labor Square. The Citizens’ Solidarity has been cooperating with the mayor Park Won-soon since the by-election. Million Labor will work closely with the two organizations in the presidential election process. It plans to cooperate with the Citizens’ Solidarity from next year’s local elections to the mayoral election of Seoul. After the local elections, we will lead the nationwide project to open the 10 major tasks.”
Written by Yeon Yoon-jung, staff reporter
Photo = Reporter Jeong Ki-hoon