South Korea’s Electrical Union succeeds in their campaign to keep the industry public:

A South Korean commission composed of government, academics and labour activists has rejected a plan for national energy privatization in its recent final report. The president of South Korea is expected to accept the report’s conclusions, putting an end to deregulation of the country’s energy sector. The Korean National Electrical Workers Union spearheaded a massive campaign to stop privatization. Earlier this year a delegation from the union visited Canada, meeting with CUPE to learn from the experience of the Ontario campaign to protect public power. That visit proved to be a “critical turning point” in the campaign, says union spokesperson Yong Choi. Canada’s experience, along with examples of the deregulation and privatization failures in the UK and the US provided a strong boost to the Korean campaign, helping bridge the gap between the Korean labour movement and the public. As public support fuelled mass rallies, public hearings and workshops, the government agreed to set up a commission to study issues involved in the privatization plan. “Some say it may become a model in Korean society for dealing with social conflict,” says Choi. “It is a historic moment. For the first time in our history, government policy was defeated by a non-government organization. We won!”

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