South Korea: 49 trade unionists arrested

21 May 2013
KGEU members surrounded by police
49 trade unionists, members of PSI affiliate Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU), were arrested today for holding a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

The KGEU launched this sit-in in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration on 1st of May 2013, following a month-long hunger strike by its President Kim Jungnam and KGEU leadership to urge the government and National Assembly to resolve urgent KGEU demands, in particular to normalise labour relations, recognize the KGEU and reinstate dismissed workers.

Last week, the KGEU requested an official meeting with the minister for security and public administration which was denied and notified to the KGEU last Friday. The KGEU then decided to have an overnight sit-down with its executive committee and dismissed members in order to request a meeting with the minister yesterday on Monday 20th May.

This morning around 11am, out of desperation, KGEU members tried to force their way in to the government complex to obtain the meeting. The police arrived and arrested 49 members (all KGEU dismissed members) including president Kim Jungnam for conducting a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

The KGEU will be holding a press conference in front of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration calling for an apology for the arrests and the immediate release of all arrestees.

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