Irregular workers who provide school lunches and care work went on strike yesterday (25th) to demand improvement of the low wage structure and poor working environment.
In some schools, bread and milk were served instead of rice, and reporter Jeong Da-eun covered this.
Lunchtime at a middle school in Seoul.
Instead of rice and side dishes, sandwiches and juice were placed on the plate.
Convenience food was provided as non-regular school workers, such as cafeteria cooks, participated in a general strike.
Some schools have announced the suspension of meals altogether, and have moved the dismissal time forward by about an hour.
The Ministry of Education said that 21,000 people, or 12.7% of all education officials nationwide, took part in the strike, and that 3,100 schools nationwide and one out of four schools suffered disruptions to school meals.
In addition, 701 places, or 6% of 12,526 care classes nationwide, were closed.
The strikers criticized the education authorities for proposing a wage increase of 1% at a time when the inflation rate exceeded 5%.
[National School Irregular Worker Association Meeting: Lifelong Low Wages Stop Reorganizing the Wage System!
In addition, they urged improvement measures, saying that workers are suffering from lung diseases due to lack of ventilation facilities in the cafeteria.
[Lee Yun-hee/Chief of the National Office of Education: After the first lung cancer accident in 2018, 5 colleagues passed away, and numerous colleagues are struggling with lung disease due to lung cancer.
] So far, there have been about 1,600 people who have received abnormal findings from lung diseases, such as suspected lung cancer, from six education offices.
[Seo Geum-ae/Former cooking staff (recognized as an industrial accident due to lung cancer): After frying pancakes, this plate turns black.
Then I have to wipe this clean white.
If you wipe it with chemicals, this smoke comes out like a mist.
Then I will drink it all.
My mind is hazy.] The
National School Irregular Workers Association announced that it would go on a general strike again next semester if wage increases and work environment improvements are not made.