[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
S Koreans rally against labour law
Tens of thousands protest in Seoul against plans to change the country's labour laws.
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2009 17:14 GMT
 Protesters gathered near the National Assembly, shouting slogans [EPA]

Tens of thousands of South Korean workers have held a rally to protest against plans to change the country's labour laws.

The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) said more than 150,000 members attended the demonstration in the capital, Seoul, on Saturday, while police estimated the crowd at 60,000 people.

The government has said it will begin enforcing laws next year to prohibit companies from paying wages to full-time union representatives and to allow multiple unions for each workplace.

"We, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, are here to defend the labour unions and labour movement in this land," said Kang Choong-ho, a spokesman for FKTU.

"We will thwart the government's policy by mobilising every means possible. If necessary, we will stage a general strike," Kang said.

Kang also accused the government of Lee Myung-bak, the president, of trying to weaken labour unions.

Riot police were deployed, but there were no clashes and the protesters later peacefully dispersed.

The labour laws' implementation has been delayed for more than a decade because of opposition from labour organisations.

South Korea's two biggest trade unions have joined forces to protest against the laws, which opponents say will undermine workers' rights.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.