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Media Workers Launch General Strike

2009/02/26 | 66 views | Permalink | Source

The National Union of Media Workers has launched a general strike in protest of the ruling camp's introduction of bills seeking revisions to media laws.

Starting at 6 am Thursday, unionists of the Munwha Broadcasting Corporation, one of the nation's major TV networks, began boycotting production. Nonunion members are filling the vacancies left by workers who are on strike.

Unionized members of the Seoul Broadcasting System also decided they will join the strike if the media bills make their way to a plenary session of the National Assembly. Unionized workers at EBS, YTN and CBS are also deciding when to join the strike and what their level of participation will be.

Union workers at KBS who withdrew from the National Union of Media Workers last year also denounced the GNP's unilateral introduction of the media bills. In a statement on Thursday, the KBS union said it will hold a vote on March second on whether to join the strike. The statement said it will immediately launch a general strike if the GNP puts the bills to a vote at a plenary session of the National Assembly.

The 22 media reform bills would allow major newspapers and conglomerates to own broadcasting companies, including cable TV networks. They would also be allowed to own between a 30 and 49 percent stake in news-only cable channels and other cable networks that will offer a complete range of programming, including news and entertainment.

The GNP says revisions to media laws are necessary to respond to the changing media environment and to create jobs. But opposition parties and critics of the media bills say they would result in the monopolization of media markets by a handful of conservative newspapers and conglomerates.

Reported by KBS WORLD Radio

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