Labor Strikes in Seoul

This wasn’t what I expected to come across today when I decided to go work from a cafe, but definitely worth documenting.

Apparently, thousands of unionized workers are striking against government plans to reform the pension system for public servants and introduce a more flexible labor market. These photos and videos below are of the massive crowd in Seoul Plaza, just outside Seoul City Hall.

According to the Korean Yonhap News Agency, about 260,000 unionized workers joined the one-day walkout launched in 2,829 work places across the country, including 60,000 government employees and 10,000 teachers.

It was incredible to watch the crowds and hear them chanting in unison. You can imagine that police were out in full force, too. Thousands of riot police standing by, ready to handle out-of-control crowds. They’re everywhere, on every sidewalk and street corner. They’ve blocked off streets and have formed blockades with the police buses. I hear they’re expecting more protests over the weekend, and people here seem to love protesting/demonstrating things in general anyway, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this.

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Overhead view of the crowds

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More photos here.

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