The National Union of Media Workers (NUMW) in Korea will hold a general strike beginning today, 26th December to protest the ruling Grand National Party’s (GNP) proposed revisions to seven media-related bills which they believed is an attempt by the Lee Myung Bak administration to seize control of the media.
The labour unions of MBC, KBS, SBS, YTN, EBS and CBS have announced their decision to join the strike one after another yesterday with the impact far greater than imagined. The MBC labor union has announced that all of its union members will be actively participating in the strike meaning that regular programming could be affected. It remains unclear whether the year-end MBC Drama Awards and Gayo Daejun will be able to go on as scheduled.
We Got Married, Infinity Challenge, Golden Fishery plus other variety shows are all affected by this as the production workers are set to go on strike. Other than daily dramas which are produced solely by MBC, other dramas currently being aired are unlikely to be affected by this strike. This is because most of the dramas are outsourced to a third party production company and does not belong to MBC. One prime example is the East of Eden drama production which will be filming as normal. The news department will also be affected as announcers Park Hye Jin and Kim Joo Ha will also be participating in the strike.
MBC has expressed that it would be mobilizing all available resources to recruit temporary staff to ensure that the year-end MBC Drama Awards (29th December) and Gayo Daejun (30th December) will go on as scheduled and run smoothly. With the Gayo Daejun requiring more manpower than the Drama Awards, it will be an ardous task for MBC to find the required manpower to complete the stage setting and broadcast in a few days time.
The above is only MBC. The same goes for SBS, KBS and other broadcasters whose labor union members will be actively participating in the strike. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything will go on as scheduled.