KCTU Conducted a Four-Hour Warning Strike on November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006---Today, 138,000 workers from 193 local unions affiliated to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) participated in a four-hour Warning Strike. Although demonstrations took place in the centers of major cities across South Korea, the majority of the workers went on strike at the work site. Automobile Industry such as Hyundai, Kia and Ssangyong had to stop the production because of the strike conducted by respective Automobile workers unions---affiliates of the Korean Metal Workers Federation---. In addition, 7,200 workers mostly members of the Korean Federation of Transportation Public Social Service Workers Union (KPSU), Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU), and the Korean Teachers Union (Chunkyojo) participated in the rally and work-site actions, as they can not freely participate in any strike-related actions. This is particularly so for the members of the KGEU, which the government has declared to be an illegal organization.

In conjunction with the four-hour warning strike, trade unions and allied organizations from around forty countries participated in solidarity actions as part of the International Day of Action to Support South Korean Workers. The majority of the unions sent protest letters to the President Roh Moo Hyun or to their respective South Korean embassies or consulates, or conducted actions in front of the South Korean embassy to condemn the repression of trade union rights in South Korea. In addition, representatives of ITUC and Global Union Federations will meet with the representative with the South Korean representative in Geneva, on November 15th .

The KCTU plans to conduct a full-pledged General Strike on November 22, where over 200,000 workers will be participating nation-wide. The KCTU will proceed further with the General Strike should the South Korean government fail to adequately meet the major demands of the KCTU---- to stop trade union repression, to stop the Irregular Workers Bill, to rescind the current Industrial Relations Roadmap Agreement, to stop Korea-US Free Trade Agreement negotiations, and to fundamentally reform OHS insurance bill.
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