Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pohang Unionists Released

From the Building and Woodworkers International:

Yoo Ki Soo, General Secretary of the KFCITU Released after 10 Months

Yoo Ki Soo, the General Secretary of the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) was released on 23 May 2007 after spending close to ten months in prison for participating in a demonstration in support of the strike conducted by the Pohang local union last August 2007. In addition to Yoo Ki Soo, three members of the Pohang local union - Jin Nam Soo, Ji Kap Ryul, and Chin Kyu Man - were released as well. The four who had originally been sentenced to prison terms of two years to two years and six months were released on probation after the union had appealed the original sentence.

Although the union is extremely pleased with the release of the four whose only crime appears to be fighting for the right of South Korean construction workers to exercise their right to strike and collective bargaining, the union is mindful of the fact that thirteen trade unionists still remain in prison related to strikes conducted by the Pohang local union in 2006 and the Ulsan local union in 2005. It should be noted that the President of the Pohang local union, Lee Ji Kyung was sentenced to a very long term of three years and six months and it is unlikely that he will be released until 2010.

The union wants to express is gratitude to BWI and its affiliates for their consistent support and requests that you remember the other thirteen still in jail.

[Note] You can read our coverage of last year's Pohang Strike here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Salut Jamie!

    Je suis québécois. We have met in Seoul during a protest against the military expansion in Pyeong-taek (or was it against the FTA) last summer.
    Besides this blog, I don't have your contact on hand.

    Anyway, there is a publication in preparation about the protests in Korea and the ways the Korean state (police and army) has recently come to handle and repress them. Foreigners who have witnessed massive and violent police intervention (or army force used for such civil purpose) in Korea are sought for interview. You might not have witness such things, but I thought you might be interested such you are doing research on the culture of protest, no? If you are interested and want more details, contact me:

    And can you think of someone (Matt?) else?