S. Korea : Auto Workers Seized Plant, Repelled Cops’ Attack

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 7 — Hundreds of workers occupied the Ssangyong Motor ssangyongCompany for over two months, resisting layoffs. After two raids by the police, which the workers resisted by firing nuts and bolts from slingshots, 500 of 900 workers remained in the plant. They occupied the paint shop where thousands of gallons of flammable paint are stored. The workers initially rejected the company’s offer to reduce the number of layoffs and said in a statement that rather than being divided they would “die together.” (NYT, 8/5/09) The next day the union negotiated a settlement that further reduced the layoffs and pressured the workers to end the occupation. The struggle continues.

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