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(LEAD) Some 20 people injured, dozen detained amid Ssangyong Motor standoff

All Headlines 22:31 June 26, 2009

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea, June 26 (Yonhap) -- Some 20 people were injured and about a dozen laborers were detained Friday as Ssangyong Motor Co's unionized workers' protest over the company's massive layoff plan turned violent, police and company officials said.

About 300 security guards hired by company management were sent into Ssangyong Motor's only plant south of Seoul to confront the striking employees, who have been on a sit-in for seven weeks.

Amid the violent face-off of the two groups, some 20 people were injured and were sent to hospital, according to the officials.

While hundreds of riot police also entered the plant later Friday to disperse protesters, the unionized workers, who are estimated to number about 700, are still in the plant complex, the police officials said.

About a dozen of the workers were detained for leading a violent protest, the officials said.

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 also 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.

ygkim@yna.co.kr
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