A total of nine trade union members of the KFCITU are still in jail awaiting trial after four were recently released on bail and granted probation sentences.
However, the police continue to arrest trade union members and activists who partook in the November 14, 2015 rally. At that time more than 60,000 people gathered in Seoul to protest the South Korean government’s plans to pass a series of labour reforms including an initiative that would make it easier for companies to dismiss workers.
Last Tuesday, on February 16, Johan Lindholm, President of Byggnads and Jonas Wllin of the Swedish Electricians representing the Swedish Federation of Building and Wood Workers’ submitted a protest letter to Minister Gwang Sup Han of the South Korean Embassy in Stockholm. The letter called for the immediate release of all trade unionists imprisoned due to their involvement in trade union activities. The unions also called on Swedish companies and the Swedish government to raise concerns of human rights and workers’ rights violations in South Korea in their engagement with South Korean officials.
In addition, other BWI affiliates such as UNIA of Switzerland and Profbud of Ukraine have send solidarity postcards to imprisoned KFCITU members.
This coming Friday, Ambet Yuson, General Secretary will leave for South Korea to meet with the KFCITU leadership to discuss as to how BWI can provide greater support the trade union movement in South Korea.