Brussels, January 9 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): Several hundred South Korean riot police raided the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) at 0030 am on Friday 10 Korean time, according to information reaching the ICFTU.
Uniformed police showing search warrants seized documents, floppy discs as well as a banner from the Japanese trade union Rengo which had been given to the KCTU on the occasion of the Japanese trade union springtime offensive last year. The attack followed similar raids late on Thursday on the headquarters of several KCTU unions (Metalworkers, hospital workers and automobilie workers).
The KCTU which is spearheading strikes to protest against new labour legislation called on Thursday for the biggest strike in the nation's history. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) has announced strike action on January 14 and 15. According to the latest information no arrest has taken place so far but Korean state prosecutors said they were seeking arrest warrants for 19 strike leaders including KCTU leader Kwon Young-kil.
The ICFTU has called on ILO Director General Michel Hansenne to immediately intervene with the Korean authorities to prevent the arrest of trade union leaders and has decided to extend by three days the visit of its delegation to Korea which will arrive in Seoul on January 11 for talks with Korean trade unions as well as for meetings with the countries' highest authorities.
ICFTU affiliates and International Trade Secretariats will be organising pickets in front of South Korean embassies in Europe's main capitals. A delegation from the ICFTU and its Belgian affiliate FGTB will picket the South Korean embassy in Brussels and the organisations' leaders will hand over a protest to the embassy representatives.
ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan said international trade union pressure will be escalated in an attempt to press for the Korean authorities to repeal the anti-worker legislation and open dialogue with the Korean labour movement.For details contact ICFTU Press at ++322 224 02 12 or Other OnLine news on Poptel Bulletin Board ICFTU-Online for geonet users and on the WWW at:http://www.icftu.org