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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Korea Labor Unrest Delays State Talks




SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean President Kim Dae-jung put off a meeting with heads of business conglomerates until Tuesday as concerns over labor unrest linger.


Kim has criticized the nation's top family-run business conglomerates, or chaebol, for dragging their feet on pledges to overhaul their operations and is expected to step up his call for a swift restructuring at the meeting, postponed from Monday.


The 42,000-strong union at state-run telephone operator Korea Telecom Corp. on Monday canceled a general strike but the country's militant labor umbrella group vowed to step up industrial action against the reforms.


The 500,000-member Korean Confederation of Trade Unions that is spearheading a campaign of rolling strikes against layoffs during corporate restructuring, has said the 170,000-member metal workers federation would down tools in the auto industry from Tuesday.


The government has declared the strikes illegal and, on Sunday, thousands of striking subway workers and students threw firebombs at riot police.