Korean Airline Unions Refuse to Transport Troops to Iraq


by Lee Wee-jae*

The labor unions of the nation´s two airliners, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, declared Thursday that they refuse to transport anything related to the troop dispatch to Iraq, including Korean soldiers to be stationed in Iraq along with armor and related equipment.

The Association of Airline Unions, founded by both the national airlines and the employees of Incheon International Airport and Kimpo Airport, said Thursday that in accordance with the policy of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, that they are against sending more troops to Iraq and will launch an all-out struggle against the deployment.

The association said, "Both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines should not sign contracts with the government to transport troops to Iraq... If they sign such contracts, the security of our union members cannot be guaranteed as they may become a target of terror during operation... Also, in order to show our rejection to a war of invasion, we will suspend all flights."

In response to the unions, the two airlines pointed out, "We haven´t been asked by the government to transport troops to Iraq," and "unconditionally rejecting something before even negotiations have begun is going too far."

Lee Wee-jae could be reached at wjlee@chosun.com