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Labor union asks pope to intervene at Catholic hospitals. (World).

SOUTH KOREA: Striking workers from four South Korean Catholic hospitals have gone to the Vatican to seek the help of the pope to resolve labor disputes that have gone on for months.

The union members say they have urged Archbishop Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul to settle the dispute but have received no response from him or the archdiocese.

The Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union announced that the nine-member delegation left Korea Oct. 21. They went with the aim of asking the pope to help Settle "long-term labor disputes" in the Catholic hospitals, said Lee Joo-ho, director of the union's international affairs department. "The delegation will stage a sit-in protest in the Vatican if the meeting with the pope is not arranged by Christmas," Lee said.

The delegates represent union members at three hospitals of Seoul archdiocese's Catholic Medical Center and the Catholic Hospital in Mokpo in Kwangju archdiocese. Strikes began May 23 to support union demands for new contracts that provide improved wages and working conditions at more than 130 hospitals. All have settled with strikers except four Catholic hospitals and two that have no Catholic affiliation.
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Title Annotation:South Korea
Author:Donovan, Gill
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Nov 8, 2002
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