KCTU Hits:207018 2008.08.11 10:54
ITUC Online 144/070808

South Korea: ITUC Calls on Authorities to Cease Repression of KCTU

Brussels, 7 August 2008 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has written
http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/KCTU_KMWU_arrest_warrants_04-08-08.pdf
to President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea strongly protesting at the
government's actions in detaining Ms Jin Young-ok, First Vice-President
of the ITUC-affiliated Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and
the issuing of arrest warrants against several other senior leaders of
the KCTU, the Korea Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) and the Hyundai Motor
Branch.

Arrest warrants have been issued against KCTU President Lee Suk-haeng
and General Secretary Lee Yong-shik, KMWU President Jung Gab-deuk and
First Vice-President Nam Taek-gyu and all six of the top elected
officials of the Hyundai Motor Branch. The KCTU's headquarters were
surrounded by police following the issuing of the warrants, persons
entering the building have been searched and search warrants have been
issued for the homes of those facing arrest. Family members have also
been placed under surveillance.

The government's actions were taken under provisions of the Penal Code
concerning "obstruction of business" following a general strike called
by the KCTU on 2 July due to food safety concerns concerning imports of
US beef and a series of other grievances including privatization and
soaring consumer prices.

"The government's actions are completely unacceptable, and we call on
President Lee to release Jin Young-ok immediately, to withdraw all the
arrest warrants, and to cease the harassment and surveillance of the
trade union leaders and their families. The government should be
engaging in dialogue on these issues of huge importance to Korean
workers, instead of once again resorting to anti-union repression," said
ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

See also LabourStart, which has launched a public appeal calling on the
Korean authorities to stop repression of the KCTU and its affiliates:
www.labourstart.org/kctu

The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories
and has 311 national affiliates. Website: http://www.ituc-csi.org

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2
224 0210.
Total 106

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