IndustriALL Global Union has responded to recent raids on its affiliate Korean Metal Workers’ Union, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and several other union offices with a condemning letter to the country’s president, Park Geun-hye.
The crackdown by more than 2,500 police targeted eight different unions at 12 locations and came just a week after tens of thousands of Koreans took to the streets to protest government plans to change labor laws to favor the country’s powerful conglomerates.
“The police raids on trade unions are wrong and completely undemocratic. President Park is taking Korea backwards to the dictatorial era of the past,” said IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina, “Clamping down on trade unions will only fuel public distrust and worker frustration. We applaud our Korean affiliates for standing up against the planned regressive labor reforms, and we’ll do everything we can to support this important struggle.”
Click here to read IndustriALL’s letter to President Park.
Trade union suppression in Korea is increasing and several trade unionists have been arrested in recent weeks. Korean authorities routinely ignore serious violations of trade union and human rights, siding with the huge industrial businesses or ‘chaebols’ that dominate the country. People have also demonstrated against the government’s plans to replace all independent history books in schools with government-issued textbooks.
IndustriALL Global Union was founded in 2012 and is composed of free, independent and democratic trade unions representing workers in the metal, chemical, energy, mining, textile and related industries throughout the world. IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger has served on IndustriALL’s executive committee since it was founded.