Police start internal audit into steps against labor violence

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- The police on Thursday kicked off an internal probe into local policemen's "hands-off" reaction to recent violence committed by some members of the union of an auto parts maker against one of their executives.

A week ago, some 40 unionized workers of Yoosung Enterprise Co. (YPR) in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, broke into the office of the YPR CEO and several of them ruthlessly punched and kicked, for about 40 minutes, a managing director in charge of wage talks.

The executive, surnamed Kim, suffered serious injuries, including a broken nose and a fracture in the bone under one eye, requiring a 12-week hospitalization.

At that time, policemen responded to several emergency calls from the company for help, but took no practical steps to stop the violence, later saying that they could not enter the office as the union members blocked the entrance.

The excuse immediately came under fire and some contended that the laid-back reaction to the assault fundamentally stems from reluctance to make trouble with the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), which is believed to have contributed to the election of the Moon Jae-in government. The Yoosung trade union is a member of the progressive umbrella union.

"Things like this should not happen again, and the police also should be held accountable for failing to head it off," Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party, said.

"Our country is degenerating into a lawless world by the gangster-like KCTU union," the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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