(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in last 2 paras)
GWANGYANG, South Korea, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), one of South Korea's two main umbrella labor unions, decided Wednesday to boycott the presidential advisory board for labor policies in protest against a recent police crackdown on a labor sit-in.
The FKTU has been representing the labor sector in the Economic, Social and Labor Council, a consultation body between the government, business and labor sectors in charge of policy recommendation to the president for labor affairs.
The FKTU, the less militant of the two umbrella unions, has been locking horns with the Yoon Suk Yeol government over a series of recent labor reform plans, including a planned loosening of the 52-hour workweek.
The union's protest came to a head last week after police arrested Kim Jun-young, an executive at the union's metal workers' guild, in a forceful crackdown on a labor rally in front of steel giant POSCO's factory in Gwangyang, 298 kilometers south of Seoul.
In an emergency meeting of its central executive committee held in the union's regional office in the southern city, the FKTU decided to suspend its participation in the presidential board.
During the meeting, the union also decided to leave it up to Chairman Kim Dong-myung to determine whether the union would leave the board permanently.
It was the first time in more than seven years that the FKTU has boycotted the presidential board, the main channel of government-labor communications, since the union's previous boycott in 2016 during the then Park Geun-hye government.
The union will go on an all-out protest against the Yoon government to "stand up against its strong oppression of the labor sector and hold it accountable," an FKTU spokesperson told reporters after the union meeting.
The union plans to officially unveil the meeting results in a press conference to be held outside the presidential office in Seoul on Thursday.
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