ACCUSATIONS OF "BODY-SNATCHING" BY KOREAN POLICE AS SAMSUNG WORKERS STRUGGLE HEATS UP
At the request of the Korean Metal Workers Union, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, IndustriALL Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation, LabourStart has launched an online global campaign protesting increasing authoritarianism in South Korea.
According the campaign, "The first ever large-scale trade union in Samsung Group, the Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) Samsung Electronics Service Workers' Local (around 2000 members), is on indefinite strike. The workers have asked Samsung to stop labour repression and recognize the union, for employment security at the 3 centers with concentrated union membership, to pay a living wage and to bargain a first collective agreement. During the strike, on May 17, the KMWU Samsung local chapter chair committed self-immolation in protest against Samsung's continuing labour repression. 300 police forces stormed his funeral wake, arrested 25 mourners, and absconded with the labour martyr's body. He was cremated under police protection against his dying wishes that his sacrifice be used to win labour rights at Samsung, which adheres to a "No Union" corporate policy. Police and public prosecutors have imprisoned KMWU Samsung union local Chair WI, Young-il and First Vice-Chair LA, Du-shik for protesting the raid at the funeral wake when the body was taken amid this clampdown on democratic and trade union rights."
Just under 4,500 trade unionists from every continent have signed up to support the campaign in the first 24 hours online.
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