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Brussels, 18 June 2018 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has welcomed the release of South Korean trade union leader Lee Young-joo from prison, but is deeply disappointed that the charges against her were not dropped.  Lee, former General Secretary of the KCTU, was charged along with then KCTU President Han Sang-gyun for organising union protests under the corrupt regime of former Korean President Park Geun-hye almost three years ago.  Han was recently released on parole . 

“We are pleased that both Lee, like Han, is now free and is reunited with family, friends and colleagues after the court suspended the sentence against her.  However, the fact that the court found her guilty, when she was simply standing up for workers’ rights during the time of corrupt former President Park, is extremely disappointing.  With Korea ranking at the bottom in the ITUC Global Rights Index, working people are looking to the government of President Moon to reform labour laws so that freedom or association and collective bargaining are fully respected,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. 

South Korea is ranked 5 – “no guarantee of rights” in the ITUC Global Index

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The ITUC represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories. 

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