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Police raid Ssangyong Motor plant to disband strikers

All Headlines 18:04 June 26, 2009

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea, June 26 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of riot police on Friday entered the premises of ailing Ssangyong Motor Co's only plant, south of Seoul, to disperse striking unionized workers waging a weeks-long sit-in in protest over the company's massive layoff plan, police and company officials said.

Some 500 police troops with helmets and plastic shields began streaming into the plant shortly after 5 p.m. to disband the striking Ssangyong workers estimated to number about 900, the officials said.

Hours earlier, about 300 security guards hired by company management were sent into the plant complex to confront with the striking employees, with witnesses reporting a number of injuries as the two groups faced off.

Unionized workers at Ssangyong who were laid off after the troubled automaker was put under court receivership earlier this year have waged a sit-in at the company's factory in Pyeongtaek, about 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

They have been locked in a dispute with other workers whose jobs have been saved as a result of the company-wide restructuring plan.

Earlier in the day, the company's management proposed to rehire some of the laid-off workers once the company turns itself around, but the proposal was immediately rejected by the union.


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