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Labor unions plan mass downtown rallies

Posted April. 30, 2001 18:16,   


Two major umbrella labor organizations, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), plan to stage large-scale rallies in downtown Seoul on Labor Day Tuesday. The government would guarantee peaceful assembly within legal bounds, but it would not allow unionists to parade as far as the Kwanghwamun intersection, officials said.

The FKTU cancelled its original plan to hold a Labor Day ceremony indoors and decided on an outdoor mass rally of workers to ``crush suppression of labor`` by the government. The rally will begin at the Seoul Railway Station plaza at 1 p.m. and then march to the entrance to Myongdong Catholic Cathedral. About 4,000 representatives are expected to attend. Following a separate gathering at Marronnier Park on Daehak-ro at 2. p.m., the KCTU will proceed to Kwanghwamun through Chongro.

Minister of government administration and home affairs Lee Keun-Shik Monday met with other cabinet members concerned with social affairs and law enforcement to discuss ways of ensuring a peaceful assembly and parade. They agreed to deploy mainly policewomen and traffic officers to ensure that the rallies proceed in a safe and orderly manner.

Kim Joon-Seok kjs359@donga.com