On May Day, South Korean construction union leader Yang Hoe-dong took his own life by setting himself on fire rather than accept the state’s anti-union charges against him. Yang is a brutal casualty of the South Korean president’s war on labor.
Kap Seol is a Korean writer and researcher based in New York. His writings have appeared in Labor Notes, In These Times, Business Insider, and other publications. In 2019, his exposé for Korean independent daily Kyunghyang revealed an imposter who falsely claimed to be a US military intelligence specialist posted to the South Korean city of Gwangju during a popular uprising in 1980.
Last week, South Korea’s intelligence agency raided the country’s largest group of independent unions. It’s a blatant attack on workers’ rights that has raised fears the conservative government is resurrecting dictatorship-era methods of bludgeoning labor.
In the 1920s, China’s Communist Party retreated from the cities to the countryside to wage a protracted guerrilla war. This long separation from the Chinese working class fostered an autocratic culture that went on to shape the party’s rule over China.
Squid Game’s director says he was inspired by the 2009 Ssangyong Motor strike undertaken by me and my coworkers. Now millions around the world have glimpsed our struggle — but it’s far from over, and our wounds have not healed.
In a predawn raid on September 2, the South Korean government arrested Yang Kyung-soo, president of the country’s largest labor confederation. Yang is the thirteenth president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions in a row to be jailed.
From the struggle against Japanese rule in Korea to his work with China’s revolutionaries, Kim San lived a life committed to socialism and the struggle against imperialism. He deserves to be remembered today.
Coupang is South Korea’s answer to Amazon. Just like the American retail behemoth, Coupang’s business model depends on abusing its workers.
South Korean labor activist Kim Jin-suk inspired her country back in 2011 by occupying the top of a 115-foot shipyard crane to protest worker layoffs and defend workers’ rights. Now, as she fights for her life against breast cancer, she’s demanding her job back.
The United States claimed to be fighting in defense of democracy in South Korea. In reality, however, it propped up a series of dictatorships. The people of South Korea only won their freedom decades after the war, through brave struggles against US-backed military strongmen, like the heroic Gwangju Uprising of 1980.
Most US reporting on North Korea is inaccurate fluff produced by self-serving careerists. But a new book finally shows how to do it right.
The South Korean government is attempting to squelch worker militancy by locking up the country’s leading labor figure.