Thousands of S.Korean workers rally in coronavirus-hit Seoul

imageCoronavirus News6 hours ago (Jul 03, 2021 11:45)

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) -Thousands of South Korean workers staged a rally in downtown Seoul to demand better conditions, video images showed on Saturday, defying a government ban and shrugging off warnings that their protest could ignite a new wave of the coronavirus.

As South Korea battles a spike in infections fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant, officials had denied permission for the protest, with Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum urging leaders of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions to cancel it.

Marchers wearing masks blocked some of the main streets in the central district of Jongno, holding up signs with slogans such as “Stop restructuring!” and “Let’s go! General strike!” video from the Yonhap news agency showed.

The protest, which the union said drew as many as 8,000 participants, backed demands for wage hikes and measures to prevent accidents.

But plans for the gathering had provoked concern about a repeat of the events of last summer, after a massive rally traced to a church sparked a second wave of infections nationwide.

However, the union pushed ahead with Saturday’s rally after a last-minute change of venue from the financial centre of Yeouido, where police had set up a barricade of buses and checkpoints to deter protesters.

The union has said it is capable of ensuring a safe protest

based on strict COVID-19 guidelines, and urged respect for its right to freedom of assembly.

About 80% of South Korea’s locally transmitted cases continue to come from the Seoul metropolitan area, home to more than half of the country’s population of 52 million. Daily infections hit the highest in nearly six months on Thursday.

Friday’s 794 cases reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) were slightly lower than the previous day’s figure.

“Holding a large protest in the greater Seoul area is an extremely dangerous move that would only add fuel to the flames of COVID-19,” Kim had said on Friday, warning that authorities would take all measures necessary to block the demonstration.

Thousands of S.Korean workers rally in coronavirus-hit Seoul

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here