Asia - Pacific

South Korea's biggest labor union launches 2-week anti-government strike

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions accuses Yoon government of devastating 'people's livelihoods, democracy, labor sector'

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 03.07.2023 - Update : 03.07.2023
South Korea's biggest labor union launches 2-week anti-government strike


South Korea's largest labor federation began a two-week strike on Monday, calling for ouster of President Yoon Suk Yeol's government.

The strike is being led by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), which has accused Yoon's government of "devastating people's livelihoods, democracy and the labor sector," Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

Some 9,300 police personnel will be mobilized during the demonstrations, which are expected to run through July 15.

"The president is using the authority given by the people to oppress workers and destroy the livelihood, democracy and peace," a KCTU official said, calling for "the ouster of the Yoon government."

Accusing the government of favoring large corporations over workers, the union is also seeking a hike in the minimum wage.

The KCTU boasts a membership of around 1.23 million workers and expects around 400,000 of them to participate in the strike.

However, the labor leaders said the collective action "is not expected to cause much inconvenience to the public as each industry's participation will be limited to one or two days."

"Down with the Yoon Suk Yeol government," said Yang Kyung-soo, who leads the KCTU, during a news conference outside the presidential office, as he announced start of the walkouts.

The union has also demanded South Korea urge Japan to stop releasing of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea.

Hyundai Motor, Korean Metal Workers' Union, parcel service workers' union, and medical workers' union are expected to join the general strike.

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