Hired security guards in full riot gear used to violently break strike in South Korea

A company that specialises in strike breaking and union busting is hired by a South Korean auto-parts plant to violently disperse 'locked out' workers.

Submitted by working class … on August 5, 2012

At the AJM auto-parts plant in South Korea – the workers have been in an on-going dispute with management over pay and conditions.

The workers are all members of the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU).

Over the last week – ‘mild’ industrial action has taken place. This has included, short work bans, half day strikes, and work slowdowns. During this time, negotiations between the bosses and the union were on-going.

On the 27th July – the bosses decided that they did not want to negotiate any further, and ‘locked-out’ the workers. The workers then organised a peaceful rally and protest outside the factory gates.

Rather than just ignore the protest – the bosses hired two hundred private security guards, kitted them out in full riot police clothing, including metre long clubs, and instructed them to break up the peaceful protest.

The hired goons then brutally attacked the workers, spraying their faces with fire extinguishers to disorientate them, before using their clubs to batter people. Thirty four workers were injured, including eleven with broken bones, and many requiring hospital treatment.

It is claimed that there was a heavy police presence watching the attack, but they chose to do nothing.

The union claims to have photographic evidence that a senior manager at the plant was stood at the factory gates – conducting proceedings.

At the exact same time that this incident was taking place, another auto-parts plant in Korea ‘locked-out’ the workers. All workers at both plants are members of the same trade union (KMWU). It is believed by the workers and their union, that the bosses have deliberately manufactured ‘incidents’ at both plants to try and smash the union.

In the days following the incident – AJM have set up a scab union to try and pull workers away from the KMWU.

The hired strike-breakers were from a company called ‘Contractus’, who apparently specialise in strikebreaking and union busting. At least three companies – Sangsin Brake, Valeo Electrical, and 3M – have all hired Contractus to attack workers and unions within the last couple of years.

Contractus has grown massively since 2008 since the election of President Myung-bak, a man who openly declares his contempt for trade unions. Contractus provided security for his election campaign and team, and they receive legal representation from close personal allies of the president.

This is not the first example of this kind of practice is South Korea.

Solidarity with the South Korean workers!!



11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on August 5, 2012

And someone on the other related dispute in India seemed to think the reported killing of plant managers and their henchmen 'unjustified' !!