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Korea

There was much hope when South Korea joined Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1996. However, ten years later, the South Korean government under the Roh Moon Hyun administration clearly shows that South Korea has failed as an economically developed democratic country in ensuring fundamental trade union rights according to international labour standards.

The Government continues to undermine the fundamental rights of construction and public services workers to organize, strike, and to bargain free from government repression, intimidation, and incarceration.

The repression against BWI affiliate the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Union (KFCITU) has increased after the recommendations made by the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association in March 2006 regarding BWI complaint. The Committee has raised serious concerns about the South Korean government using criminal law to arrest and imprison trade unionists.

The government not only has refused to implement these recommendations. It has also chosen to intensify its attacks.

The KFCITU members comprise the majority of those in jail due to a series of strikes conducted by KFCITU affiliates, specifically the Daegu, Ulsan, and Pohang local unions.

53 KFCITU members are still imprisoned.

Usually, the government mobilizes thousands of riot police across the country to forcibly break union actions and strikes despite their legal permits.