Friday, August 08, 2008

International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC)
Emergency Press Release
(August 5th, 2008)

The ILC -- responding to the appeal for solidarity launched by the Korean Trade Union Confederation (KCTU) -- calls on all trade unionists, all working class activists, all the organisations, and all men and women committed to democracy and freedom around the world to respond to this emergency call.

In its press release the KCTU wrote:

* * * * *
"In the midst of mass candlelight protests calling for renegotiations of the April 18th Protocol on importation of US beef, KCTU decided to go into general strike on July 2 to reflect food safety concerns. KCTU general strike on July 2nd was aimed at renegotiation of April 18 protocol on US beef import, stopping privatization and marketization of public services, opposition to the plan of building Korea Grand Canal, and taking appropriate measures to solve the soaring consumer prices.

"The Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) played a leading role in the general strike. The Ministry of Justice and the prosecutor concluded that KMWU's strike on July 2nd was illegal.

"The prosecutor filed for arrest warrants against and has pursued the arrest of the leadership of KCTU, KMWU and Hyundai Motor Branch on the grounds of 'obstruction of business’ provision in section 314 of the Penal Code.'

"We are calling for sending protest letters to the President Lee Myung-bak
By fax: President Lee Myung-bak +82-2-770-4735(Fax)

Or internet:

Copies should be sent to the Police authorities (Mr. Eo Cheong-soo

List of detaineees or with arrest warrants
Mr. Lee Suk-haeng, President, KCTU
Mr. Lee Yong-shik, General Secretary, KCTU
Mr. Jung Gab-deuk, President, KMWU
Mr. Nam Taek-gyu, First Vice-president, KMWU
Mr. Yoon Hae-mo, President, Hyundai Motor Branch
Mr. Kim Tae-gon, First Vice-president, Hyundai Motor Branch
Mr. Kim Jong-il, Vice-president, Hyundai Motor Branch
Mr. Jung Chang-bong, Vice-president, Hyundai Motor Branch
Mr. Joo In-koo, Vice-president, Hyundai Motor Branch
Mr. Jo Chang-min, Secretary,Hyundai Motor Branch
Ms. Jin Yeong-ok, First Vice-president, KCTU
2. Activists

Bak Won-suk, Joint Director of the Field Office of the Coalition
Han Yong-jin, Joint Director of the Field Office of the Coalition
Kim Dong-kyu, Director of the Organizational Team
Kim Kwang-il, Director of the March Team, All Together Steer Committee member
Baek Eun-jong, Vice-Representative, Anti-Lee Myung-bak Internet Café
Baek Seong-gyun, Representative,
Kwon Hae-jin, Director of Education Movement Headquarters of the Young Korean Academy
3. Detained

Ahn Jin-geol,
Yoon Hui-suk,
Hwang Sun-won,
* * * * *

The ILC calls upon the international labour movement to respond immediately to this appeal:

The KCTU and the Metal Workers Union (KMWU) have done nothing other than to carry our their mandate as trade union organisations within the framework and in application of ILO conventions 87 and 98 providing for the right to organise, the right to represent workers and the right to strike.

The ILC demands the immediate release of all those detained, the immediate lifting of all charges and the immediate withdrawal of all the arrest warrants against the trade unionists concerned.

* Respect the right to strike!

* Respect the right to organise !

* Respect ILO conventions 87 and 98!

* Free all the trade unionists detained !

* Lift all charges !

* Withdraw all arrest warrants !


Daniel Gluckstein,
International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples
Paris, France
Aug. 5, 2008

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