KBS Programs Likely to Be Affected as Union Votes to Go on Strike

With the MBC Labor Union strikes showing no signs of being resolved, the KBS Labor Union has also voted to stage a strike, demanding the resignation of KBS President, Kim In Kyu, the withdrawal of any unjust disciplinary actions against workers and the removal of numerous high level personnel that they believe are not working in their best interest. This latest action is likely to affect the production of the vast majority of KBS programs, ranging from variety shows like “New 1 Night, 2 Days,” “Invincible Youth 2,” etc and could potentially affect drama productions as well if the strikes end up being long winded.

One of the programs that could be affected by this strike

The strike vote held on the 24th of this month by the No. 2 Labor Union passed with 963 members, out of their total membership of 1064 members, voting yes, resulting in an 88.6% approval rating. The strikes are set to begin on March 3 and could potentially last several weeks if the MBC strikes are anything to go by. The KBS Reporters Union has also previously declared that they will also stop working, affecting KBS news programs once the strikes begin. KBS has declared that these strikes are illegal and that they will look into pursuing civil actions against the union.

KBS President Kim In Kyu

And here is very a quick explanation of how KBS operates. KBS currently has 2 main labor unions that can be classified as Labor Union No 1 and Labor Union No 2. Labor Union No 1 contains a total of around 3,000 members from a wide range of positions within the KBS group. Labor Union No 2 meanwhile primarily consists of Producers and Reporters. This is important because Labor Union No 1 will not be participating in these strikes. However since the vast majority of Producers within KBS are in Labor Union No 2, there is a very strong likelihood that this strike will have a serious impact on the production of various shows within KBS such as “Invincible Youth 2,” “Happy Sunday – New 1 Night, 2 Days,” “Immortal Song 2” etc. It remains to be seen if studio based programs like “Music Bank,” “Win Win” etc will be affected by these strikes or if they will continue to be produced by non-striking workers like how MBC is currently operating.