In November 1970, 22–year–old labour activist and garment worker Chun Tae–Il committed an act of self–immolation that catalysed the contemporary democratic labour movement in South Korea. Chun worked in the garment sweatshops of the Dongdaemun Market, an area populated with hundreds of garment shops employing mostly young female workers in their teens and early twenties. The labour conditions in the sweatshops where Chun worked were brutal, with workers crowded into ‘attics’ – vertically subdivided floors where sewing machines were double stacked over one another, full of cloth fibres and poorly ventilated. Workers in these sweatshops suffered from overwork and occupational illnesses. Many were fed amphetamines and continuously worked extralong shifts when product orders were at their peak, or were summarily laid off when they were not (Chun 2003). Chun and his friends who worked in these export factories were shocked at the disparity between the principles enshrined in Korea’s labour standards act and the actual practice of employers in these primarily export–oriented sweatshops. They tried in vain to address these conditions through a variety of means, including protesting to their employers and trying to form a union, all of which failed for under the military dictatorship the employers and the police easily repressed labour protest.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten
Sie möchten Zugang zu diesem Inhalt erhalten? Dann informieren Sie sich jetzt über unsere Produkte:
- Minjung Tactics in a Post-Minjung Era? The Survival of Self-Immolation and Traumatic Forms of Labour Protest in South Korea
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
Pluta Logo/© Pluta, Rombach Rechtsanwälte/© Rombach Rechtsanwälte