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職工盟及勞工團體約十多名代表，今早到南韓駐港領事館示威，譴責南韓政府以暴力南韓鐵路工會Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU)的罷工權利以及拘捕工會領袖。南韓領事起初拒絕接信，而請願人士打算把信件貼在領事館門外時卻遭到職員粗暴阻撓，南韓副領事更推撞請願人士。
南韓鐵路工會抗議南韓政府推行鐵路私有化，從12月9日開始罷工。12月22日南韓警方展開驅離，大批警力出動，使用胡椒噴霧驅趕示威者，並衝撞示威群眾，並攻入南韓民主勞總(Korean Confederation of Trade Union) 大樓，逮捕工會領袖及工人。
Supporting the Korean railway workers’ right to strike against privatization;
Calling on the Korean Government to stop persecuting trade unions and release all arrested unionists!
On December 24, representatives from HKCTU and labour organizations (AMRC, Globalization Monitor, AMCB, IMW-HK) staged a demonstration at the Korean Consulate-General in Hong Kong, to protest against the Korean Government's recent suppression of the strike of Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU) and arrest of unionists. The Korean Consulate refused to take the protest letter at first and the vice Consulate pushed one protester from HKCTU backward when they tried to put the letter at the door.
The KRWU had been striking since December 9 to fight against the government’s proposal to privatize the Korean rail company Korail. Yet instead of respecting the strike, on December 22, the Korean government sent hundreds of riot police to raid the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)'s headquarters in Seoul, injuring hundreds due to the use of pepper spray and violence. 130 people including strikers, union leaders and supporters, were arrested.
HKCTU supported the KRWU’s strike against the privatization of the national railway. Korail had planned to set up a new subsidiary for bullet train operations, KTX, in which would take a 41% share, with the rest of funds only purchasable by public corporations. The KRWU pointed out that creating a new subsidiary was a move towards privatization and did not believe the verbal promise of the government not to privatize. The struggle of the railway workers was to protect both their labour rights and the public interest. In many cases of privatization of public services, whether in Hong Kong or other countries, only big corporations benefit, while the employees and general public suffer from deterioration of working conditions and rise in service charges. International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and International Transport Federation (ITF) also strongly supported the strike of the Korean railway employees.
Since the beginning of the strike, the Korean government and Korail have not shown willingness to negotiate with the employees in good faith. On the contrary, the government and Korail management applied various tactics to persecute the strikers, including accusing them of an illegal strike and replacing the striking employees with temporary workers, which would undermine safety standards of the railway operation. Korail has filed a damages lawsuit worth 7.7 billion won against the union and its 186 leaders. HKCTU criticized the Korean government’s action as a grave violation of the right to strike. More shockingly, hundreds of riot police raided the KCTU's headquarters in Seoul on December 22, injuring hundreds. According to the information of KCTU, 130 unionists including the leaders of KRWU, KCTU and supporters were arrested in this attack. These suppressions were serious violations of union rights and human rights. The international unions (ITUC and ITF) also have strongly condemned the Korean government’s anti-union behaviour which runs contrary to its obligations under the ILO and to the labour standards in its trade agreements with the US and the EU.
HKCTU has the following demands for the Korean Government:
1. Immediately release all of arrested unionists;
2. Stop persecution of trade unions and of the strike of KRWU;
3. Enter into talks with KRWU about restructuring and stop privatization of the Railway.