- Title: SOUTH KOREA: Thousands of South Korean workers rally against government policies
- Date: 25th February 2014
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (FEBRUARY 25, 2014) (REUTERS) SOUTH KOREAN WORKERS CHANTING: "LET'S ACHIEVE" VARIOUS OF WORKERS CHANTING ANTI-GOVERNMENT SLOGANS RALLY IN PROGRESS A RALLY LEADER SPEAKING ON STAGE VARIOUS OF WORKERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN RAILWAY UNION MEMBER PAEK SUNG-GON SAYING: "Now, many people are against the privatization of the public railway firm. We're also opposing the strong pressure against the workers. The government must listen to the voice of people and railway union." VARIOUS OF WORKERS SINGING PROTEST SONG WORKERS GATHERED AT RALLY AND FLAGS VARIOUS OF RIOT POLICE VARIOUS OF WORKERS AT RALLY RIOT POLICE BLOCKING THE ROAD
- Embargoed: 12th March 2014 12:00
- Location: Korea, Republic of
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVACIVMRZTH39Y4HXGNVWPT75PVD
- Story Text: Tens of thousands of workers from a South Korean umbrella labour union held a massive rally in Seoul on Tuesday (February 25) against government policies.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) organized the rally held in downtown Seoul, timed with the first anniversary of Park Geun-hye taking office.
The KCTU said about 40,000 workers attended the rally with the main agenda being to oppose the privatization of Korea Railroad Corporation, which is now operated by the government. Workers at the rally said they were also asking for higher wages and shorter working hours.
The railway union belongs to the KCTU, and workers said that if the firm is privatized, many of them will lose their jobs.
"Now, many people are against the privatization of the public railway firm. We're also opposing the strong pressure against the workers. The government must listen to the voice of people and railway union," said Paek Sung-gon, a member of the railway union.
Unionized workers from the loss-making rail operator have stymied efforts by previous administration to take it private since the early 2000s.
The KCTU has more than 690,000 members from sectors including construction and public transport and any stoppage could bring the country to a halt.
Thousands of riot police were mobilized to keep the rally under control.
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