I see people in 309 days .. Jin-suk Kim’s moving descent

Disclaimer: the following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of an article appeared in <SisaIN> on November 10, 2011, airing the wonderful finish of Jin-suk Kim’s 309-day-long high crane protest. All rights regarding this post will stay on the author of original article or <SisaIN> and this post will be scrapped immediately at their request. Original article (in Korean) of this post will be located in the link at the bottom.

Jin-suk Kim, “I see people in 309 days”

김은지 기자 | smile@sisain.co.kr


(Photo by Newsis)

Jin-suk Kim, a member of director committee of Korean Confederation of Trades Union (KCTU) Busan branch, finished her crane protest at 3:20PM on November 10.

Ms. Kim who went through 4 seasons on crane 85 of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC) Youndo shipyard stood on the ground in 309 days. Middle deck final defenders, Sung-ho Park (the head of layoff fight-back committee), Young-je Park (a laid-off worker), and Hong-hyoung Jeong (organization manager of Korea Metal Workers Union (KMWU) Busan-Yangsan branch), also stepped down. They have been protecting Ms. Kim on the middle deck of crane 85 since administrative execution on June 27.

Ms. Kim who started to climb down crane 85 around 3:15PM met 3 final defenders on the middle deck. They waved to about 200 union members who were waiting under the crane. Roars erupted on the ground.

Ms. Kim who temporarily stopped while stepping down the crane smiled brightly, “I see people in 309 days.” To union members request to put up some stylish posture, she made up ‘pretty face’ tucking her hands under her chin. Ms. Kim in a blue HHIC work suit with a white cap on her head in reverse hugged Hae-do Cha, the head of KMWU HHIC branch, as soon as she stood on the ground.


(Photo by 시사IN 조남진, SisaIN Nam-jin Cho)

Ms. Kim first mentioned Ju-ik Kim, the former branch head, in her speech. Former branch head Ju-ik Kim were also staging a sit-in strike on crane 85 protesting company’s massive layoff in 2003 and committed a suicide at 129th day. Then, another HHIC worker Je-kyoo Kwak jumped down to dock no 4 facing crane 85 and killed himself. “How nice it would have been if Ju-ik stepped down like this. For those 309 days, I could not forget names Ju-ik Kim, Je-kyoo Kwak even a moment. You ask how I could survive 309 days but how can you give up if you know their deaths.”

After holding a brief welcome ceremony under the crane for 20 minutes, Ms. Kim went outside the company. Her way out was rather slow; she had to exchange greetings with everyone who wanted to greet her on the road.

Ms. Kim who went outside new office building expressed her gratitude to two special people in front of reporters. Actress Yeo-jin Kim and KCTU propaganda manager Ee-ra Hwang. Yeo-jin Kim, participating in the first Hope Bus march, tried to spread Jin-suk Kim’s news to the world. Manager Hwang has been in charge of Jin-suk Kim’s meals for 309 days. Yeo-jin Kim cried “I don’t have much to say. I don’t know how many times I’ve dreamed (of this).”

Ms. Kim, exchanging greetings, was immediately transferred to a university hospital in Busan area. Police car escorted the ambulance. Finishing medical checkup and treatment, Ms. Kim and 3 final defenders are projected to be questioned at a police station.

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