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Unionized workers launch protest at Seoul Plaza

Updated: 2014-02-26 AM 3:46:02 (KST)
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The one-year anniversary of President Park's inauguration was not met with celebration by the nation's unions.
Some 40-thousand angry workers from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions turned out in force at Seoul Plaza on Tuesday afternoon to demand that President Park Geun-hye step down.
They claim her administration has been oppressing workers and moving to privatize public firms.
The union workers later staged a walkout protest through central Seoul before returning to the plaza to hold a candlelight vigil.
Currently 14-hundred police are on site with water cannons at the ready should the protesters get out of hand.
The afternoon and evening rallies follows similar ones throughout 12 cities earlier on Tuesday.
In the morning, members of the Korean Railroad Corporation staged a one-day walkout.
They are demanding that the state-run railway operator withdraw charges against unionists who took part in a strike in December, which was launched in protest of a government plan that would create a subsidiary to run a high-speed train line.
The union claims the plan is a first step toward the privatization of KORAIL.
Despite the protest, there were no inconveniences caused in railway operations since KORAIL had planned ahead and dispatched some 18-hundred replacement workers.
The greater protest organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was expected to draw some 200-thousand people, but just 50-thousand took part, mainly because the core labor union of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors decided not to join in.
The government has warned of stern measures against those taking part it what it calls an illegal walkout and notified citizens to take public transportation to avoid traffic jams caused by the protests on the streets.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.


Reporter : connie1223@arirang.co.kr

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