Militant anti-Unionists, coordinated with the USA State Department and with the government of South Korea, attacked labor union activists in San Francisco, January 17th, 2014, during a labor union solidarity gathering for workers in South Korea being attacked, kidnapped and tortured by the South Korean government.
"SF South Korean Consulate on 1/17 was disrupted by the Consulate"
On January 17th, 2014, the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee held a rally at the South Korean Consulate in San Francisco in defense of the Korean Rail Workers Union (KRWU). In retaliation, the South Korean Consulate, in cooperation with the US State Department, mobilized conservative Koreans and veterans from the North West Korean American Veterans Association to disrupt the rally.
The right-wing Koreans chanted "We Love Park Geun-hye", "Unions Suck", "Go Back to North Korea" and "Kill the Communists" and physically threatened a Korean union supporter. The Consulate also orchestrated media coverage from sympathetic journalists.
The KRWU waged the longest rail strike in South Korean history in December 2013 against a privatization drive by the right-wing government of Park Geun-hye. The Park government declared the strike illegal, put out arrest warrants for the union leadership and forced them into hiding.
On December 22nd, 2013, the Park government then assaulted the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) with 5,000 police, who used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters. 120 unionists were arrested and the government succeeded in breaking the strike. Arrest warrants are still out for the union leadership and the government intends to continue with the privatization drive.
A General Strike has been called by the KCTU for February 25th. Another rally in support of Korean workers will take place in San Francisco at the Consulate on that same day.
1/17 Solidarity Rally For Korean Railway Workers Union KRWU Against Union Busting And Privatization Of KORAIL
Friday January 17, 2014 @ 4:00 PM
Korean Consulate @ 3500 Clay St./Laurel St. San Francisco
In early December 2013 over 4,000 Korean railway workers of KORAIL went on strike to stop privatization. The Park government suspended the railway workers and sought to arrest the leaders. They also raided the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KCTU and arrested 137 trade unionists.
On December 31, the KRWU railroad workers returned to work with a promise that there would be a government legislative investigation about the privatization of the public railways. At the same time the government continues to seek the arrest of the union leaders and is also preparing to sue the striking union members personally.
The KCTU has called for general assemblies against this union busting, privatization and for the resignation of the President Park Guenhye’s administration on January 9 and January 18. The Korean government is also attacking the right of public teachers and public workers from even organizing a union.
The US government with the Korea US Free Trade Agreement KORUS is seeking to privatize the public industries and also deregulate the economy. The Trans Pacific Partnership TPP is being pushed by the Obama administration to allow the multi-nationals and banks to buy up Korea and other countries in Asia along with a new militarization including the construction of a military naval base on JeJu Island in Korea.
Northern California trade unionists, labor activists and human rights activists will be rallying in solidarity with the Korean railway workers to demand. We demand Hands Off The Korean Workers!
This action will co-incide with the KCTU called general assembly. Bring your union banners and placards.
* Stop Repression and Arrests of Korean Railway Trade Unionists
* Stop KORAIL Privatization and Down With President Park Guenhye’s administration
* Support The KCTU-KRWU General Strikes
* Stop The US-Korea Remilitarization and JeJu Naval Base
Initiated by The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, Endorsed by United Public Workers For Action [www.upwa.info], Transport Workers Solidarity Committee [www.transportworkers.org], ANSWER Bay Area, Labor Video Project, Facts For Working People, Workers World, Peace And Freedom Party San Francisco