Korean embassy picketed to demand the release of KCTU President
Wearing red headbands as a symbol of support, Filipino workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) held a solidarity protest action in front of the South Korean Embassy, to call for the release of Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) President Han Sang-gyun and other trade union activists.
“Fighting for workers’ rights is not a crime. No worker should be jailed for exercising his rights. We believe that the actions against Han and other trade unionists clearly show the trade union repression in South Korea,”Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary general, said.
Han was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of obstruction for leading workers in a legitimate protest action in November 2015 against labor reforms undermining the rights of workers and their trade unions.
“We stand in solidarity with KCTU and all workers of Korea. We are calling for the immediate release of Han Sang-gyun and all other trade union activists. We enjoin workers and peoples of different countries to show their support for Korean workers and to link their own struggles against anti-worker and anti-people laws and measures. Long live international solidarity!” Adonis said.
Since 2015, protest actions in South Korea were led by KCTU to oppose regressive labour reforms promoted by the government. The government has then criminalized unionists for leading and supporting peaceful workers’ assemblies.
Arrests and other forms of harassments were executed, and trumped-up charges filed against 585 KCTU leaders and members, 20 of whom are in custody and seven facing indictment.