Dramatic developments take place in Korea at Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard and Yuseong Piston Ring. Private security forces and riot police forced out protesters from the shipyard and the police issued arrest warrants for Yuseong Piston Ring union leaders who in sign of protest have started a hunger strike in the Buddhist Jogye Temple in Seoul.
SOUTH KOREA: Following IMF's recently reported visit on June 24 to the Korean National Assembly where a strong demand was forwarded to the Korean government to stop labour repression and solve the conflict at Yuseong Piston Ring (YPR) and Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard new dramatic developments have occurred at both places.
According to the reports of the IMF affiliate Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) Hanjin workers were flushed out of the shipyard with the exception of some protesters who tied themselves to Crane 85. Private contractors hired by the Hanjin management cut off electricity and tried to limit KIM Jinsuk's possibilities to communicate with the outer world. Ms. KIM Jinsuk is carrying out an aerial sit-in protest on a company crane. The protest has gone on for 175 days now.
The KMWU also informed IMF that the police issued arrest warrants for the YPR union leaders who staged an unlimited hunger strike in the Buddhist Jogye Temple in Seoul to bring their unjust situation to the attention of the general public.
On June 29 mass rallies took place in Seoul and Busan to protest against attacks on workers whose only crime is their wish to work under secure conditions and to have their collective bargaining rights respected.
The IMF urgently calls on all its affiliates to send letters of protest to the President of Korea, Mr. Lee Myung-bak (e-mail [email protected]) and to demand:
- To pull back riot police and private security forces occupying the workplaces at Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard and Yuseong Piston Ring YPR factories.
- To start collective bargaining in good faith in order to withdraw unilateral mass dismissals at Hanjin.
- To lift the illegal lockout of Yuseong Piston Ring workers and to reinstate union members to their original positions in their original plants (Asan and Yeongdong YPR plants).
- To stop the persecution of Yuseong Piston Ring and Hanjin Heavy Industries union officials, union members and their sympathizers.
The IMF also calls on its affiliates to render solidarity support to the striking workers by sending messages of support to the KMWU international department at: [email protected], with copies to IMF at [email protected]