This is a video of a demonstration by Nepali migrant workers in South Korea, members of the KCTU.
By James Cogan:
South Korean government turns to repression to curb protests
3 July 2008
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has ordered the police to crack down on the anti-government movement that has developed since his administration’s decision to allow the resumption of US beef imports. The move is a response to fears in the Korean ruling elite that social discontent is spiralling out of control and aggravating an already unstable economic situation.
Lee’s office sought to outlaw industrial stoppages yesterday by an estimated 120,000 of the 511,000 members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), called over both wage demands and in opposition to US beef imports. Lee declared the stoppages were an “illegal and political walkout” and KCTU leaders have been summoned to appear before the Ulsan District Prosecutors Office. If they do not turn up, arrest warrants will be issued.
Hyundai Motors, whose 44,000-strong workforce closed down production lines for two hours at plants in Ulsan, Jeonju and Asan, has announced it is filing a petition for union leaders to be arrested and charged with “obstructing its business”. …
Despite its limited scope, the strike contributed to the general panic in the South Korean corporate elite. The stock market Kopsi index plunged 2.6 percent in trading yesterday, the largest decline in three months and the 18th consecutive day of falls. The stock sell-off has been a response to high oil prices, the government’s lowering of economic growth expectations from 6 percent to 4.7 percent, rising inflation and the fear of political instability.
How Mad Cows and “Free Trade” Threaten Korean Democracy: here.
South Korean economy faces mounting problems: here.