[Newsmaker] National Cancer Center strike ends after 11 days

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Sept 16, 2019 - 15:15
  • Updated : Sept 16, 2019 - 16:57

An 11-day health workers’ strike at the National Cancer Center ended Monday morning after the labor union and the hospital management reached an agreement on pay and working conditions. The hospital’s operations will return to normal Tuesday at 6 a.m.

The management and the union agreed to a 1.8 percent pay hike, overtime pay in 10-minute increments, transportation allowances for night-shift workers and other welfare support for hospital workers. The management also vowed not to take any civil or criminal action against the union for the strike.

Health workers picket outside the National Cancer Center in Ilsan, north of Seoul, Monday, with signs reading, “Root out free labor!” (Yonhap)

The 1.8 percent wage increase is far less than the 6 percent proposed by the union. The management had turned down the demand, citing the government’s 1.8 percent limit on pay raises at public institutions.

The 520 or so patients at the hospital had been informed in advance of the upcoming strike and advised to transfer to other hospitals. Only 73 patients remained as of Sunday afternoon.

At a press conference Monday, hospital director Lee Eun-suk apologized to the patients and all those affected by the suspended services.

The National Cancer Center is a clinical research institute and hospital under the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

By Kim Arin (