South Korean union vows all-out strike in sympathy with rail workers
SEOUL – (Reuters) – South Korea’s militant labor federation announced a general strike from Saturday in sympathy with rail workers, after police hauled away scores of strikers in a two-week dispute that has hit President Park Geun-hye’s popularity ratings.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) has more than 690,000 members from sectors including construction and public transport and any stoppage could bring the country to a halt.
Workers with the state-run Korea Railroad walked off the job in protest against a decision to set up a unit to run a high-speed bullet train, which they say will lead to privatization and layoffs.
Hundreds of riot police stormed into the umbrella group’s head office on Sunday in a bid to arrest union leaders. They detained about 130 strikers and confederation members.
“The KCTU will show our anger by action, not words, against infringement of KCTU,” the confederation said in a statement on Monday, promising an all-out strike from Dec 28.