Korea: ITF unions take action for union leaders

ITF unions have stepped up their campaign in support of two persecuted Korean union leaders to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

KCTU president Han Sang-gyun has been imprisoned since July 2016 for his role in the people's rally on 14 November 2015, and KCTU general secretary Lee Young-joo is also facing charges for the protest. 

ITF unions are writing to President Moon Jae-in calling for the release of Han Sang-gyun and the withdrawal of the charges against Lee Young-joo. 

Furthermore, on 9 February, to coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics, ITF unions will stage protests at their local Korean embassy. 

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said: “All Han Sang-gyun and Lee Young-joo did was exercise their democratic right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly when they protested against former president Park Guen-hye's government's repressive labour law reform to further casualise labour. 

“The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the ILO have both called on the government of Korea, led by president Moon Jae-in, to take any measures to release of Han Sang-gyun and drop all charge. ITF unions need to make themselves heard now, when the eyes of the world are on Korea.”

  • Click here to send a protest letter President Moon.
  • Join the action day to free Han Sang-gyun and Lee Young-joo on 9 February, 2018 - the day of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea: contact other unions, including affiliates of the ITUC and Public Services International, stage a protest and hand in the letter to your local Korean embassy on 9 February.

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