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The fight against privatization is happening all over the world; in South Korea – unions called for a General Strike on 12/28/13 where as many as 100,000 people came out into the streets to show solidarity with striking rail workers. Anger has been brewing due to a purported election manipulation scandal, clampdowns on unions and now a recent decision to partially privatize the nation’s railway systems.

There were reportedly 13,000 riot police on hand. Reuters explains more HERE:

Workers with the state-run KORAIL (Korea Railroad) walked off the job in protest against a decision to set up a unit to run a high-speed bullet train, which they say will lead to privatization and layoffs.

Hundreds of riot police stormed into the umbrella group's head office on Sunday in a bid to arrest union leaders. They detained about 130 strikers and confederation members.

"The KCTU will show our anger by action, not words, against infringement of KCTU," the confederation said in a statement on Monday, promising an all-out strike from Dec 28.

Freight trains are running at 54 percent normal frequency and passengers trains at 58 percent. That frequency will be reduced further this week.

The strikers want the company to withdraw the plan to set up a separate unit, and Park doesn't want to back down. She said the government would not give way in what has become the longest strike to hit the railway.

And this is having a real effect on the South Korean economy HERE:

With the strike by the Korean Railway Workers' Union continuing for a record-long period, the operating rate of cargo trains is now standing at just 30% of the average. Under the circumstances, the announcement by the 12,000 workers in the Korean Cargo Workers’ Union is expected to aggravate the transport problem for this weekend and later.

Pictures and info HERE.

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