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[Sep. 28] ICTUR Protest Letter to Korean Government
ICTUR_Korea - closure of KGEU offices 2.doc date : 2006/10/04 hit : 7855


International Centre for Trade Union Rights
Centro Internacional para los derechos Sindicales
Centre International pour les Droits Syndicaux

Honorable Roh Moo Hyun
President, Republic of Korea

 28 September 2006

 Dear President Roh,

The International Centre for Trade Union Rights is gravely concerned by the forced closure of more than 111 local branch offices of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) over the period 23-27 September in what has been described as an ‘extreme crackdown’ on trade union activity.

 The KGEU’s offices have been violently attacked by riot police equipped with fire extinguishers, hammers, drills and power saws that enabled them to force access to the union offices, to forcibly eject union members, and to seal the offices with iron bars and plates.  Furthermore, Korean trade unions report dozens of their members to have been seriously injured and hospitalised by the police violence.

ICTUR understands that the basis for this action is the implementation of two Directives issued by the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs on 22 March and 3 August, which define the KGEU as an ‘illegal organisation’.   

ICTUR reminds the authorities that the KGEU is internationally recognised as a trade union, and that the principles of freedom of association, which require that workers’ organisations should be able to carry out their activities in freedom from interference by the State, are protected under the ILO’s Declaration of Fundamental Principles 1998, which applies to all ILO member states. Trade union rights are further protected under the fundamental instruments of international human rights law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

ICTUR calls for the re-opening of all KGEU offices, for the recognition of the legitimacy of the KGEU, for the release of all those arrested, for compensation to be awarded to those workers injured by the police, and for a serious re-orientation of government policy towards trade unions.

The details of this incident will be reported in the journal, International Union Rights, which has readers in more than 100 countries.


Daniel Blackburn, Director

No Subject Name Date Hit
51 [Sep. 28] ICTUR Protest Letter to Korean Government ICTUR 2006-10-04 7855
50 [Sep. 26, Protest letter] Nation wide attacks on KGEU offices and arrest of union members ST 2006-10-04 6969
48 [Sep. 26] Solidarity Message WFTU 2006-10-04 32425
47 [Sep. 27, SWAZILAND] Message of Solidarity SNACS 2006-10-04 6844
46 [Sep. 22, PSI-JC Protest letter] Nation wide attacks on KGEU offices and arrest of union members PSI-J... 2006-10-04 7266
45 [Sep. 26, Observatory Urgent Appeal] South Korea: Closing down of several KGEU chapter offices OBSER... 2006-10-04 39064
44 [Sep. 22, Protest letter] Nation wide attacks on KGEU offices and arrest of union members APFUT... 2006-10-04 6724
43 [Sep. 22] Message of Solidarity POPCR... 2006-10-04 7298
42 [Sep. 22, PSI Urgent Action] Nation Wide Attacks on KGEU Local Offices and arrests of union members PSI 2006-10-04 8701

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Tel.: +82-2-2631-1948 Fax.: +82-2-2631-1949 Email: interkgeu@gmail.com