Workers at the Livestock Sanitation and Prevention Support Headquarters, a public institution under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, declared a strike, demanding more manpower and improved treatment.
The Livestock Sanitation and Prevention Support Headquarters of the Public Transport Workers’ Union (Chief Pil-seong Kim) held a press conference in front of the Blue House on the morning of the 18th and announced that the vote was passed with 97.2% in favor of industrial action. “About 1,000 union members will go on strike from the 20th to the 27th,” said Kim Pil-seong, head of the branch.
The Livestock Sanitation and Prevention Support Headquarters is an organization that performs tasks such as livestock quarantine, quarantine of imported livestock products, and hygiene management of livestock products. However, indefinite contract workers are in charge of the essential tasks of the institution. According to the branch, 1,219 (95.7%) of the 1,274 employees of the Livestock Sanitation and Prevention Support Headquarters are indefinite contracts. Their average annual wage is 35.7 million won, which is less than the average of 36.51 million won for indefinite contract workers in public institutions.
The branch claimed that although the workload is skyrocketing due to the outbreak of African swine fever and highly pathogenic avian influenza in winter, field quarantine personnel are not being recruited. In principle, livestock quarantine work is carried out in groups of two people, but 13,685 cases (10.9%) out of 125,418 cases of livestock quarantine between January and May of last year were performed by one quarantine worker. In the past three years, 69 people, or 13.9% of the total quarantine workers, have changed jobs. At a press conference, a quarantine worker appealed, “If you want to do the heavy duty of national livestock quarantine, first of all, please create conditions where you can work.”
The branch is demanding △ normalization of abnormal institutional operation △ recruitment of field personnel △ improvement of poor treatment △ overall improvement of the national quarantine system. On the 20th, a resolution meeting will be held one after another in front of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Sejong City and the Livestock Sanitation and Prevention Support Headquarters.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced that it would send 1,800 replacement workers during the strike period.