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KBS workers to strike

2012/02/24 | 524 views | Permalink | Source

MBC President Kim Jae-chul heads to his office at the broadcasting company in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday, while striking unionists call for his resignation in front of the building. He appeared at work for the first time since the union walked out on Jan. 25. / Yonhap

By Kim Rahn

Workers at two of the nation's three major terrestrial broadcasting stations will go on strike to protest alleged unfair programming dictated by executives.

KBS's labor union said Friday that its members have agreed to walk out in a poll conducted during the last seven days.

The union plans to launch the collective action on March 6.

Earlier, the association of KBS reporters also decided to boycott production work starting March 2 for an indefinite period.

Their action is in protest of punitive measures on 13 union members who led a previous strike in 2010 and the appointment of a new chief of the news reporting headquarters, who they claim curries favor with the Lee Myung-bak administration.

"The management punished them belatedly by finding fault with the strike that took place 19 months ago. The measure is unfair and retaliatory. It also neglected workers by giving the head position of the headquarters to Lee Hwa-seop, who we opposed due to his politically biased programming", a member of the union said.

KBS's move comes while MBC unionists have been on strike since Jan. 25 to demand the resignation of its President Kim Jae-chul, saying their news programs have become politically biased and are losing credibility.

Management at both KBS and MBC said they will deal sternly with the "illegal strikes".

But the walkout is unlikely to be averted as news-only channel YTN also began a poll on whether to go on a strike in protest of the reappointment of its CEO Bae Suk-kyu.

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