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‘After the mine accident in the 1980s, Gangwon-do Mineral Coal Co., Ltd.’s “Reconciliation” process and coal mine workers’ choice’

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2021, (144), pp.479-514
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : October 31, 2021
  • Accepted : December 6, 2021
  • Published : December 30, 2021

Kimserim 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study attempted to understand the mine disaster in multiple layers, paying attention to what problems the victims of the mine disaster faced after the disaster and what they actually hoped for. Since the late 1970s, major disasters in mines have been increasingly frequent. The government has established measures to prevent mine disasters by reducing government subsidies and intensively managing them when designated as disaster-prone light mine. As the government’s punishment policy strengthened, mining companies tried to lower the “disaster rate” using various expedients. Statistics and documents covered the reality of the mine accident, and mining companies urged disaster workers to “settlement” to deal with the mine disaster as quietly as possible, and to ensure that personnel review is not affected at the supervisor’s level. The reason why mining companies tried to compromise with disaster workers was that social attention was focused on improving the treatment of coal mine workers after the 1980s Sabuk uprising, and the Chun Doo-hwan administration also promised to improve the coal mining village’s environment. In addition, the background was that the industrial accident litigation ruling was made in favor of workers. However, at that time, lawyers frequently demanded excessive fees or embezzled all alimony, so even if they received compensation for damages, the share of coal mine workers was less than the reconciliation money offered by the company. Above all, coal mine workers living in company housing and educating their children with coal scholarships had to give up these benefits in order to file a lawsuit. For this reason, the victim and his family also responded to the “settlement”, and they had no choice but to “brawl” to receive maximum compensation from the company. And in order to maintain life at company housing and coal scholarships, the victim’s wife had to go back to the disaster site. In the 1980s, disasters responsibilities were passed on from the government to companies and from companies to individuals, the industrial accidents faced by coal mine workers during this period. Coal mine workers struggled to ensure the stability of life and child rearing in front of this structure. Reconciliation with the company should also be understood as part of this struggle.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.