South Korea’s Squid Games Workers’ Protest Demands Job Security
Seoul city government said on Thursday it filed a police complaint against members of South Korea’s main labor group who, wearing “Squid Game” mega-outfits, defied COVID-19 restrictions to protest for more jobs and better working conditions.
Thousands of members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) staged a nationwide protest on Wednesday, the group said, including in downtown Seoul, where dozens of members dressed in flamboyant overalls and masks worn by the actors of the Netflix show.
Made in South Korea, the nine-part thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play deadly childhood games with the goal of winning 45.6 billion won ($ 38 million), has become a hit. Global sensation for Netflix when it premiered in September.
Unionists dressed in pink overalls and masks with white circle, square or triangle symbols worn by guards in “Squid Game” were seen beating drums to loud music and dancing. Some were holding flags and placards stating “Inequality Out” and “Safe Youth Employment; Quality Youth Employment, ”images from the group’s YouTube channel showed.
“About 80 youth union members dressed in costumes that parody the Squid Game, which bitterly satirizes the naked face of our society,” KCTU said in a statement.
The city of Seoul has filed a complaint against the group with police for staging illegal protests in violation of the Infectious Disease Prevention Act, the local government told Reuters.
The restrictions violate basic constitutional rights and it is unfair that outdoor gatherings are seen as more dangerous than sporting events where more spectators are allowed, KCTU spokesman Han Sang told Reuters. -jin, when asked about the police complaint.
With around 1.1 million members in total, the KCTU represents workers at some of the country’s largest chaebols, including Hyundai Motor, LG Chem, and government-owned Korail Railroad Corp. Unionized workers are quite powerful, amassing some pretty significant benefits over the years.
South Korean unions have a long history of activism, but their recent rallies have led to a confrontation with authorities trying to impose restrictions to stop the coronavirus, as rallies have been blamed for the surge in COVID cases. -19.
Only one-person protests are allowed in and around the capital under current social distancing rules.
South Korea reported 1,441 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 347,529 infections, with 2,709 deaths.
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