NewsNorth Korean laborers revolt over stolen wages and authorities' indifference. A capitalistic conundrum

North Korean laborers revolt over stolen wages and authorities' indifference. A capitalistic conundrum

Construction workers in Pyongyang
Construction workers in Pyongyang
Images source: © Getty Images | 2011 Gamma-Rapho
2:41 PM EST, December 20, 2023

An official, who had worked for a North Korean construction company in Russia, is presently embroiled in a conflict with his employees. The conflict revolves around unpaid wages, reports South Korean service Daily NK, citing an unidentified source from Pyongyang.

Kim, who had adhered to the policy enacted in 2012 of withholding his workers' wages until their homecoming, decided to push the envelope further. As his contract was nearing its culmination, he continually procrastinated payments. Eventually, he returned to Pyongyang without paying his workers a dime. The workers tracked him down in the capital and began to demand their due payment.

- Kim's house in Mangyongdae was left utterly devastated. Rather than returning home, the workers rushed to Kim's residence and caused a tremendous uproar. They ransacked his house, attempting to force him to pay their overdue wages, even if it meant selling his home - reported an anonymous informer.

- Kim claims he handed the ledger and all the money over to the following manager in Russia, However, speculation is rife that he pocketed the workers' paychecks for himself - added the source. Daily NK reports that the construction manager's wife passed out from shock during a vehement quarrel with ex-employees. The informant from Pyongyang divulged to the service that Kim is allegedly planning to sell his home.

Local authorities and law enforcement agencies are blatantly shrugging off their responsibility. They justify their passivity by categorizing the dispute as a private affair, unrelated to the state. Local inhabitants are incensed. They criticized the authorities' indifference and voiced their suspicion that the officials are apathetically observing the "capitalist spectacle”. “People say that this event is “blatantly capitalist” and “those who behave in such a manner should be detained.” The neighborhood offices and local police are cognizant of the incident. However, they maintain that this is a disagreement between individuals and not an issue involving state officials- the anonymous informant articulated.

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