One union to protest, another not during G-20

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One union to protest, another not during G-20

With the G-20 Summit approaching, the two major umbrella labor unions in Korea have different thoughts about demonstrating during the summit.

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions, a pro-government labor union, said yesterday that it will not stage any demonstrations or rallies during the summit, whereas the left-leaning Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is planning a large demonstration in cooperation with international labor unions.

“We think G-20 Summit should be held successfully as a national event,” said Yang Jeong-ju, chief of the External Cooperation Bureau at FKTU.

But the progressive KCTU announced yesterday that it has designated a so-called protesting period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 12, before and during the summit, which will be held on Nov. 11 and 12.

According to the leftist union, it will cooperate with other civic organizations to hold intensive rallies, especially from Oct. 6 to 12. A joint protest that began last month called the “People’s Week of Collective Action” has about 80 other unions and civic groups involved with KCTU. On Nov. 13, the union will commemorate labor activist Chun Tae-il, who immolated himself in 1970 in protest.

KCTU said that about 40,000 people are expected to participate, including labor unions from Brazil, the United States and South Africa.

Police said they could take strict measures against violent protests.

“We are now seeing that some unions might commit violent demonstrations,” a police source said.

By Kim Ki-chan, Kim Hee-jin []
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