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Construction Union Exec. Dies after Self-Immolating before Warrant Hearing

Written: 2023-05-03 11:43:46Updated: 2023-05-03 11:56:57

A labor union executive affiliated with one of the nation's major umbrella organizations has died after self-immolating ahead of an arrest warrant hearing.

The executive of the Korean Construction Workers' Union under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions died on Tuesday after suffering severe burns in front of the Gangneung branch of the Chuncheon District Court the previous day.

The 50-year-old, identified by the surname Yang, and two others were awaiting a court hearing on their arrest warrants on accusations of extortion and demanding that builders at construction sites in Gangwon Province hire certain union members.

In a letter written in the form of a suicide note, Yang claimed that he had been wrongfully charged for conducting lawful union activities.

Fellow union members protested in front of the Gangwon Provincial Police, claiming that suppression of unions by the Yoon Suk Yeol administration, the prosecution and the police caused the executive's death by suicide.

Citing ongoing investigations into similar charges by police of some 950 additional members nationwide, the unions announced plans to fight against such oppression and targeted investigations.

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