Wednesday, August 5, 2009
* Image source/ description: Same as below
'A truck is ablaze at Ssangyong Motor plant in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, as striking unionists are clashing with riot policemen in front of a paint building, Tuesday. / Korea Times Photo by Cho Young-ho'
Police Storming Ssangyong Plant
By Park Si-soo, Staff Reporter
Black smoke poured from Ssangyong Motor plant Tuesday morning as special police units stormed into one of three buildings dismissed workers have been occupying for more than two months.
Dozens of officers jumped onto the building's rooftop at 10:40 a.m. from an aerial ladder as police helicopters sprayed liquid teargas. The workers resisted by throwing petrol bombs and blocks, and using slingshots.
At least 23 people were injured during the clash and taken to hospital, police said.
After successfully landing on the rooftop, the police squad was set to move into the plant, which is packed with flammable material.
Police on the ground removed cars and barricades that have prevented riot police from moving forward, a move signaling that a crackdown on protesters was imminent.
About 300 riot police armed with batons and plastic shields had approached to within five meters of the occupied building.
``Today we will retake as much of the factory as possible,'' a police officer said at the scene. ``But we will be cautious in moving inside the buildings due to strong resistance from the occupiers.''
The prosecution said it will be tough against the workers for their illegal occupation of the plant.
The operation came two days after last-ditch talks between management and laid-off workers broke down, and one day before creditors of the firm were to submit a request for the liquidation of the carmaker which has a 2-percent domestic market share.
Creditors said they have no choice but to seek liquidation unless the plant was normalized by 4 p.m. today.
``Unless police kick all protesters out of the facility by that time, we will submit the request to the Seoul Central District Court,'' Choi Myung-hoon, the representative of the creditors, told The Korea Times.
Police estimate some 550 laid-off Ssangyong workers remain inside the four-story paint shop.
The building is reportedly no better than a ``refugee camp,'' as supplies of water, food and electricity were cut last week.
*More photos/ videos in the Korean article
2009, 08, 04
Police, laid-off workers clash at occupied Ssangyong facility
Police resume spraying tear gas on striking workers at Ssangyong Motors:
An estimated 600 workers resolve to remain at the auto plant despite impending police raid and company announcement to employees to prepare to return to work Tuesday
Posted on : Aug.4,2009
[Editorial] Caring if people live or die at Ssangyong Motors plant
Posted on : Aug.4,2009 11:51 KST