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Umbrella Union Leaders Likely to Resign Over Scandal

Posted February. 09, 2009 04:03,   


Leading figures of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions except chairman Lee Seok-haeng are expected to resign en masse today over a senior executive’s attempted rape of a female member.

In addition, the nation`s second-largest umbrella union will reinvestigate the alleged sexual assault in the wake of mounting suspicion of an attempted cover-up by the confederation’s leadership. The Korean Teachers and Educational Workers` Union, in which the victim is a member, will also launch a fact-finding committee in response to growing criticism within the union.

“The entire leadership except chairman Lee, agreed to step down at an emergency meeting Saturday,” a confederation source said. “We have decided to propose the mass resignation of the executive committee and the formation of an emergency committee at the central committee meeting Monday.”

Senior confederation members discussed the resignation in a meeting with Lee Friday, but only five offered to step down due to his objection. Lee, who has flatly refused to resign, is not on the resignation list, according to sources.

The confederation’s leadership has resigned en masse three times since the organization’s establishment in 1995. In 2005, leaders of the umbrella labor group resigned over a bribery scandal implicating then Vice President Kang Seung-gyu.

In addition, the teachers` union held a central executive committee meeting Friday and Saturday in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province. It will launch a committee to independently investigate the attempted rape in response to strong criticism against the reaction of the confederation’s executive committee.