Crackdown of Migrant Organizers in South Kore

sic! 05.12.2007 15:51 Themen: Antirassismus Repression Soziale Kämpfe Weltweit
On November 27th, three officers from the Migrant Trade Union were arrested outside of their homes and work. As part of an overall intensification of the government's crackdown on undocumented migrants in Korea, the MTU leadership has been vigorously targeted. Solidarity letter campaign
Since August of 2007, over twenty members and officers have been seized by authorities. Around one million foreigners reside in South Korea, with a reported 230,000 of them undocumented laborers. Lured by the prospects of realizing their "Korean Dream", the number of migrant workers in Korea continues to grow. As the government's migrant policy has proven unable to provide legal solutions, it has resorted to brutal arrests and deportations.

On the morning of November 27th, MTU President Kajiman and Vice President Raju, both Nepalese, and General Secretary Masum from Bangladesh, were separately ambushed by immigration agents outside their respective homes and workplace. After initially protesting, they were arrested by force. They had reportedly been under thorough surveillance for a period of time, to the extent that agents knew the kind of medication Masum took. Soon after all three men were sent to a detention center in Cheongju, Northern Choongjeong Provence, south of the capital Seoul.

The current conditions faced by labor in general in korea is restrictive and oppressive, but especially so for migrant workers who have no rights as citizens and face huge obstacles for organizing. This latest arrest succeeded in eliminating the union's entire executive leadership. Despite international criticism of its migrant worker policy, the Korean government seems determined to protect industry's ability to exploit migrant labor by denying migrant's the ability to organize for basic rights. The new migrant labor policy Employment Permit System (EPS), enacted in 2004, encourages illegality and results in a virtual slave system. According to the new law, migrant workers can work in South Korea for only three years and for only one employer. Unable to change their work place, the employer has complete control over the wages and working conditions. Workers who wish to avoid a dangerous or exploitative workplace find themselves criminalized.

solidarity letter campaign:
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Solidarity with MTU!!

nam-han gongsan-dang 06.12.2007 - 16:35

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