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2-day rally of construction labor union disrupts people’s daily lives

2-day rally of construction labor union disrupts people’s daily lives

Posted May. 18, 2023 07:59,   

Updated May. 18, 2023 07:59


A two-day rally held by the construction labor union of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions in Seoul caused great inconveniences to the citizens. The labor union occupied six of eight lanes in Sejong-ro from DongHwa Dutyfree in Gwanghwamun to Deoksugung on Tuesday afternoon. As the rally continued through the evening rush hour, it caused serious traffic congestion. In addition, the members of the labor union who stayed on the street overnight marched to the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seodaemun Police Station, and Seoul National University Hospital in Dongsung-dong on Wednesday morning, which extended the morning traffic congestion throughout the urban center.

The labor union members took the sidewalk on Tuesday night and drank. The trash piled up with the leftover food and mats they left in the early morning. Empty bottles were found on crosswalks, causing commuting cars to make sudden stops. There was a bad smell as some of them urinated on the street since no portable toilets were prepared for the overnight rally. Some were sleeping on the sidewalk, heavily drunk, which was unpleasant to pedestrians.

The police disapproved the rally after 5 p.m. over concerns about heavy congestion during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, but the construction labor union pushed ahead. The union claims that the government is responsible for the suicide by fire committed by leader Yang of the Gangwon branch before examining the warrant’s validity for corruption on a construction site. Regardless of whether the argument was valid or not, citizens would have endured some inconveniences if the rally had been held outside rush hours. However, people are upset as the overnight rally brought rendered the center of the city lawless and disrupted people’s daily lives.

Despite the police’s request to dissolve the rally on Tuesday evening, the union didn’t make efforts to do so. The construction union had a precedent of causing severe traffic congestion by holding rallies in three locations in Seoul and having their members gather in front of Sungnyemun in March. This time, they pushed ahead with an overnight rally targeting morning and evening rush hours. It seems like even a more serious illegal rally is unlikely to be stopped in the future.

The Moon Jae-in administration made announcements to take serious measures whenever the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions did illegal acts, but those were just empty words. After over a year since the new administration took office, there is no change in the police’s response to rallies. The Yoon Suk Yeol administration says it will eradicate illegal acts on construction sites but has not taken any meaningful action against their illegal rallies on the street. How long should citizens endure the disruptions to their daily lives caused by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, which get worse than anticipated?