We call for the release of all trade unionists arrested and all the charges to be dropped.
Southern Initiative Global Unions Rights (SIGTUR) joined unionists from Australia, Argentina, Phillipines, South Africia and the local South Korean community this week at Korean consulates and embassies to send a deafening blast in protest at unjust prison sentences and arrests inflicted on innocent trade union officials.
The jailing of Han Sang Guyn, the president of KCTU, for five years over a series of union protests against the proposed labour laws over 2015 has caused global outrage.
SIGTUR launched the first of many International solidarity actions to call for six officials from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) to be released from custody and another 14 also charged to all be cleared.
Action across the global south built on the general strikes and demonstrations in South Korean over recent weeks.
Buenos Aires Argentina
In Australia, Argentina and the Phillippines supporters rallied outside consulate and embassies, embarrassing its officials over the crackdown on democratic freedoms by hardline Korean President Park Guen-hye .
“Demonstrators called on South Korean authorities to respect freedom of association, peaceful assembly and particularly the expression of trade union and workers rights,” .
Trade union officials were charged for organising and directing a largely peaceful “People’s Rally” of over 100,000 in Seoul last November against a two-tier wage system and harsh industrial laws.
Seoul South Korea
Thousands of security police used water-cannon and tear gas against the crowd, inciting fighting and causing serious injuries which the authorities used as a pretext to prosecute leaders of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.
These global actions voiced outrage over victimisation and violated of United Nations human rights treaties overseen by South Korean citizen, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
Metal workers across South Korea will strike today (Friday), following up strikes by public service and construction employees who also marched through Seoul’s streets again this week. SIGTUR admires the workers spirit and commitment to advancing worker’s empowerment through the struggle for economic, social, human and political rights, as well as the overall democratisation of South Korea.
We call on the workers of the world to take on the campaign to stop Trade Union Repression in South Korea. We call for the release of all trade unionists arrested and all the charges to be dropped. We demand respect of trade union rights and the release of Han Sang-gyun.