South Korea: Labor Union Leader Sets Himself Afire
A South Korean union leader has ended his life, enraged in anger and humiliation as the government attempted to bring racketeering charges against him over union activity. On the morning of May Day, Yang Hoe-dong, a chapter leader of a national construction workers union, set himself on fire at a courthouse where he was summoned to a hearing for the review of an arrest warrant for him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital the following day. The death was in protest of attacks by the government of President Yoon Suk-yeol on the 160,000-strong Korean Construction Workers Union and its rival union since February, when Yoon declared some of the unions’ activity “construction thuggery” and tried to eliminate it.