Korean civil servants’ in the Government Employees’ Union (KGEU) organised a general strike on 15 November as part of its fight against anti-union laws. The strike went ahead despite a police crackdown the week before.
The KGEU, which has 140,000 members out of 300,000 low-ranking civil service workers, is demanding the right to strike, which is prohibited for public servants in South Korea.
Police rounded up more than 200 leaders of the union and stormed union offices before the strike. The courts issued arrest warrants against 33 leaders of the KGEU and threatened strikers with arrest and dismissal.
The strike is part of a wider offensive by Korean unions against government anti-union laws. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) held a massive rally in Seoul on 26 November. The government’s labour law revision bill will discriminate against temporary workers.