May 13, 2015 09:39
North Korean workers are reportedly beginning to emancipate themselves, staging strikes and other kinds of nascent industrial action if the regime fails to pay them.
In early March, workers on a building site in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province refused orders and went home because they had not been paid for two months, a source said on Tuesday.
Embarrassed by their action, the regime started an investigation, which found that senior officials had embezzled corporate money and lost it on an investment.
Some discharged soldiers who had been sent to collective farms and coal mines in Hwanghae Province after their 10-year mandatory military service also went on strike. They wrote a collective letter of appeal to the authorities, asking that they be sent home, another source said.
North Korean workers abroad are also beginning to stand up to the regime, which keeps them under tight supervision and pockets most of their earnings.
Since Kim Jong-un took power, an increasing number of workers overseas have reportedly engaged in go-slows or strikes over back wages and the regime's constant demands for hard currency. Workers in the Middle East and Africa have walked out and even assault their superiors.
Meanwhile, the regime has launched a flurry of construction projects for the 70th anniversary of the Workers Party this year although it has no way of paying for them.
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