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(LEAD) Labor group leader grilled by police over alleged illegalities during rallies

National 17:30 July 07, 2021

(ATTN: CLARIFIES content of May and June rallies in paras 1-2; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, July 7 (Yonhap) -- The head of South Korea's largest labor umbrella group was summoned by police on Wednesday for questioning over alleged illegalities during rallies that took place in Seoul between May and June amid COVID-19-related warnings by health authorities.

According to officials at Seoul's Yeongdeungpo Police Station, Yang Kyung-soo, chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), was grilled as a suspect for about four hours, beginning at 10 a.m., in connection with alleged violations of the assembly and infectious disease prevention laws during several workers' rallies over the past two months.

This file photo shows a rally of parcel delivery workers under way in Seoul's Yeouido district on June 16, 2021. (Yonhap)

Yang was reportedly questioned about alleged illegalities committed during a May Day rally, a KCTU rally on June 9 to set up a memorial altar for industrial disaster victims, a protest rally of about 4,000 parcel delivery workers on June 15-16 and a joint memorial service by about 300 KCTU members on June 19 for industrial disaster victims.

Many KCTU-affiliated workers attending the four rallies were accused of engaging in physical clashes with riot police and violating the rally attendance caps permitted by quarantine authorities.

Last Saturday's rally, which brought together an estimated 8,000 KCTU members in the central Seoul district of Jongno to demand better working conditions and a higher minimum wage, was not included in the questioning of Yang, police officials said. A 52-member police team has reportedly been investigating possible quarantine violations by the Saturday rally participants.


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