The Struggle of Cort/Cor-Tek Guitar Laborers In South Korea & The Ugly Truth Behind Cort/Cor-tek guitars

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매년 흑자를 내면서도 노동자들에게는 적자라며 임금인상한번 없더니 해외로 공장을 빼돌릴려고 위장 폐업까지 단행하며 노동자들을 내 쫓은 콜트-콜텍 기업과 노동자들이 싸운 지도 벌써 700일이 넘어가고 있습니다.

기타를 사랑하고, 노동을 믿는 많은 사람들이 함께 해 주고 있지만 여전히 콜트-콜텍 자본은 꿈쩍않고 있는 현실이 무척 마음 아픕니다.
오늘 26일 독일에서 열리는 최대 악기쇼에 콜트-콜텍 노동자들과 문화예술인들이 함께 원정투쟁을 떠났습니다.
한국에서 도울 수 있는 것은 이런 일을 더 많이 알리고 지지하는 것이겠지요.

많이 퍼 날라 주시고. 더 많이 알려주세요

아름다운 기타를 만들어 주신 분들과, 그 기타의 아름다운 음악을 사랑하는 모든 사람들이 함께 하길 바랍니다.

  • 콜트 콜텍 기타 노동자들과 함께 하는 공간입니다. 응원의 한마디를 남겨주세요.

“Without realization, I was destroying myself at work. I got sent to the ER three times upon joining the company. I once went straight to work from there in the middle of the night ignoring doctor’s advice, in fear of getting fired.”

“Even when an experienced coating worker who was with the company for 25 years passed out from capillary bronchitis, the company management went to the hospital and demanded he resigned from work. “

*Labor Exploitation
Workers were given only one stinky mask, and a pair of gloves per week that they had to wash and reuse it. They were forced to start working much earlier than official work hours without pay, and did not get paid over-time, when the order demand was slow. Sometimes, they didn’t even get any single day-off the whole year!!!

*Surveillance and Harassment
Under severe surveillance from management, workers felt obligated to keep dead-silent without friendly conversations with colleagues. When a manager disliked someone, they put them in disadvantageous positions and pressured them to quit. A female worker once got harassed by her manager and quit her job, after an incident with her husband, who was also a colleague, in which the husband didn’t say hello when he had bumped into the boss at a bank. She then went onto the hill behind the factory, and committed a suicide, with Cort vest on.

*Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Against Female Workers
Things were even worse for female workers. The management was quite mean to them. For example, they insulted women workers in front of their colleagues for going to the bathroom often, called them vulgar names, and even touched their buttocks.

They got paid much less, even for the same positions. A group of newly entered male employees got paid almost the same as female workers with a decade of experiences. The elder female workers were forced to sign a resign form, when things got slow.

*Labor Union Persecution
The company’s persecution against the labor unions both in In-cheon (since 1988) and Dae-jeon (since 2006) was omnipresent. The managers forced some union members to sign a written notice-to-quit using the threat that the labor unions will lead the company to bankruptcy. In 2007, the company made a 50% pay cut during 4 months, only applied for the majority of unionists, an action that had no legal basis.

While the unionists were suing the company for massive lay-offs, the company illegally hired gangsters to block the entrance of the office for unionists, and destroyed the office appliances, and cut off the phone lines and internet service. They also spread the false rumors against the unions.

*Industrial Disaster
Making guitars are mainly comprised of forming, coating, completion process, which means, one cuts woods to make a shape, applies a chemical coating for surfaces, and then sands to a polish. This makes the factories constantly full of wooden dust, and smell of organic solvents. However, the management did not build any windows inside the factory claiming that they will only distract workers. They even blocked the existing windows in In-cheon factory. It was like a modern day slavery.

According to a health survery for all the workers, 59% were suspected of vocational diseases caused by exposure to organic solvents, 40% were suspected of musculoskeletal disorders, 36% bronchial asthma, and 40% chronic bronchial problems. In addition, many suffered from finger amputation.

The Cort recorded 12.4 times higher occupational injury rate than the average rate in the industry. In 2007, Cort was listed by the Department of Employment and Labor as a business “with poor management of occupational injury prevention,” citing that the company didn’t make any plans for safety, or perform obligatory medical checkups for employees as required by law. Under these terrible conditions, employees did not even think of applying for compensation afterward, in fear of harassment and dismissal.