Global unions to rally in support of Korean general strike

28.11.2016

Global unions representing tens of millions of workers will rally in support of the general strike in South Korea, starting at Place des Nations, Geneva on 30 November.

Global unions BWI, IndustriALL, IUF, PSI and UNI will rally then hand deliver a letter to the South Korean mission in Geneva supporting the general strike and condemning the persecution of trade unionists in the country.

The strike is being organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). KCTU’s president, Han Sang-Gyun, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for his role in organizing a people’s protest of 100,000 people in 2015.

For the last two years, trade unionists have been engaged in a bitter struggle against South Korea President Park Geun-hye’s government reforms, designed to lower wages and make work more insecure. In retaliation, scores of trade unionists have been arrested, trade union offices have been ransacked and unions stripped of their legal status.

IndustriALL Global Union’s General Secretary, Valter Sanches, says:

IndustriALL members around the world are mobilizing in support of the general strike. Workers in Korea are not only under attack from the government but also from the all-powerful chaebol conglomerates that do everything in their means to crush trade unions and labour rights. Korean unions together with the global trade union movement are fighting back.

Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI says:

The time has come for President Park to step down. The current corruption scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Our brothers and sisters in the KCTU have been locked the last two years in a bitter struggle to resist the Park Government’s neoliberal labour reforms. The attack which the Park Government has unleashed on the trade union movement for simply pursuing their democratic rights is a throwback to the military dictatorship era. Hundreds of trade unionists have been arrested and many subjected to arbitrary political prosecutions including Han Sang Gyun, President of the KCTU.

IUF General Secretary, Ron Oswald, states:

The IUF is here to show our active solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Korea demanding the President resign and fighting the government’s escalating attacks on trade union rights and basic civil liberties. Trade unionists are being condemned to prison for opposing casualization, defending the right to strike and opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Together with our members in Korea and around the world, we demand that the government be held accountable for these ongoing human rights violations.