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Members of Gwangju Construction Workers Union protest against illegal hiring of foreign workers

"외국인 불법 고용 중단민노총 간부 건설 현장 고공농성

Members of Gwangju Construction Workers Union protest against illegal hiring of foreign workers


Unionized workers of the Construction Workers Union affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) launched a tower crane sit-in protest to demand the ban on the surging number of illegal foreign workers in the construction working fields in Gwangju.


Jongmin Kim reports.


Dramatic protests of labor groups are a well-known theme in the history of South Koreas labor movement.


Workers who have strong dissatisfaction over the employment of illegal foreign workers in the construction fields in Gwangju staged a high altitude sit-in protest after years of struggle against layoffs and union busting on the top of an advertising tower at one of the construction sites in Bukgu.


Their lowered banner read, Defending the right to life and abolish the employment of illegal foreign workers."


One unionized worker began the high altitude sit-in protest from Thursday morning with only drinking water and salt, dangerously staying on the top of the advertising steel beam tower. With the deep frustration owing to the social and political indifference concerning issues within the construction field, workers finally turned to the high altitude sit-in protest together to reinforce their common struggle against unscrupulous employers who kept recruiting illegal foreign workers without proper procedures.


The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said that the number of illegal foreign workers stood at between 200,000 to 250,000 nationwide and will increase if they do nothing. The KCTU announced that the high-altitude protest will persist until construction firms accept their demands
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