KCTU Hits:268557 2008.08.02 10:00

ITUC Online

Korea: Anti-union repression continues

Brussels, 17 July 2008 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has strongly protested
to the Korean government over the anti-union practices faced by the
Pohang Construction Plant Workers' Union (PCPWU), an affiliate of the
Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU), which
is a member of the Building and Wood Workers International.

The PCPWU represents workers that are employed at construction plants
which are largely operated by subcontractors, but owned by POSCO, one of
the major steel production companies in the country. On 1 July 2006, the
union had engaged in a strike that ended after a collective bargaining
agreement was signed between the union and the subcontractors'
association on 20 September 2006.

The strike came at a high cost to the union, as it resulted in the death
of its member and activist Ha Joong Keun. Furthermore, almost 200
members were injured as a result of the violent repression of the
strike, and many of them had to be hospitalized. Moreover, almost 100
union members were arrested. Currently eight are still in jail after
having been sentenced from two and a half to three and a half years for
their role in the strike. With the exception of its former President Lee
Ji Kyung, all the jailed union members are expected to be released in
the course of this month.

In a letter sent to the authorities,

7-08.pdf the ITUC urges President Lee Myung-bak to ensure that a full
and impartial investigation is launched into the death of PCPWU member
Ha Joong Keun; that former PCPWU President Lee Ji Kyung is released from
prison without delay; and that workers are no longer forced to choose
between having a job or being a union member, a clear violation of
international law.

To see the Building and Wood Workers International campaign, please go
to: http://www.bwint.org/default.asp?Index=1788&Language=EN

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 0204 or +32 476 621 018.
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