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2 construction union leaders arrested for racketeering

All News 23:30 February 28, 2023

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- Two leaders of a labor union at a construction company were arrested for racketeering Tuesday, as the government stepped up efforts to eliminate corruption within unions in the industry.

The Seoul Central District Court granted arrest warrants for the two men, citing concerns they might destroy evidence.

The suspects are accused of demanding illegal payments from the company's management and insisting the company hire members of the union at apartment construction sites in Seoul from 2020 to 2022, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

This undated file photo shows the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul. (Yonhap)

This undated file photo shows the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul. (Yonhap)

As part of the investigation, police raided the headquarters of two major labor umbrella groups, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), as well as the offices of small construction unions in and around Seoul on Jan. 19. The suspects' union is affiliated with the KCTU.

During a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 21, President Yoon Suk Yeol pledged to eradicate extortion and violence at construction sites during his term. He directed the prosecution, police, land and labor ministries to work together to crack down on such organized illegal practices.

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