Jan. 23  2020
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Christian's Photo Column 

Anti-riot police attack striking hospital workers

Source  :  Base21

by Christian/Base21 Media Activist

Seoul, Korea--Over 3,000 anti-riot police brutally attacked striking hospital workers at the Catholic Medical Center in the south of Seoul and the Kyung Hee University Medical Center in northern Seoul yesterday. Over 200 unionized workers were arrested, and the mostly-female personnel were beaten. The South Korean government and hospital administrators threatened last week to deploy anti-riot police to terminate the nation-wide strike, which is entering its 111th day.

Employees in several hospitals in Seoul and in other parts of South Korea are demanding a wage increase of 12% and improved social security. Catholic Medical Center strikers are also calling for a more humane treatment of staff and patients by management.

Last week, the resort island of Jeju, located south of the peninsula, experienced a wave of violent strikes at their hospitals. 108 of the 115 people who took part in the strike at the island's largest hospital were fired. They returned to their former workplace to demonstrate and attempted to occupy the facility. Hospital administrators assigned a private security company to violently remove the occupying workers. While police watched, scuffles between the workers and the security force erupted, resulting in injuries--some severe--to at least 20 former staff members, who were mostly women.

The Korea Herald reported that the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the second largest umbrella labor group in South Korea, will launch a sympathy strike in mid-October.

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