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The World When Women Led Labor Unions

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Kristin Pak

on 31 March 2015

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Transcript of The World When Women Led Labor Unions

1970 - 1980
The World When Women Led Labor Unions in South Korea

YH Trading Company Founded
Committee for the union normalization struggle at Mobang formed
July 1972
Wopoon & Dongil coups to take control of company-controlled unions
July 25, 1972
Naked Protest
November 13, 1970
Chun Tae Il martyrs himself
November 18, 1970
Chunggye Textile Union formed
November 1972
Yushin Constitution establishes Park Chung Hee as dictator
March 10, 1978 Labor Day Protest at Changchoon Stadium
February 21, 1978
human excrement thrown on women union members at Dongil Textile
March 31, 1977
Lee Chong-kak elected as president of Dongil's union
Chunggye Textile Union forcibly shut down
August 9-11, 1979
YH Workers occupy New Democratic Party headquarters
September 11, 1973
Augusto Pinochet becomes military dictator of Chile by coup, possibly with the help of the CIA
December 24, 1979
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
November 20, 1975
Nationalist dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco dies
April 30, 1975
Fall of Saigon
1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes prime minister
May 4, 1970
Ohio National Guard shoots students protesting US involvement in Cambodia at Kent State University
July 16, 1979
Saddam Hussein comes to power in Iraq as a Ba'athist, a progressive socialist party
February 21, 1972
American president Richard Nixon visits China to normalize US-China relations
September 9,1976
Chinese Communist Revolutionary
Mao Zedong dies
September 22, 1972
Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law in the Philippines
Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification in the USA
Oil Crises
January 22, 1973 Supreme Court of the US issues decision on Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion.

She entered YH Trading Co. Ltd. in 1976 and served as YH Labor Union representative. She was elected as deputy-chief of Organization Department and acted as leader of 'Chadoli', a mini labor union group. When the management decided to close its business due to bad management such as vicious enterpriser's flight of foreign currency and business expansion in March 1979, the YH Labor Union, calling for cancelling it closure, started a sit-in demonstration at the New Democratic Party Building starting from 13 April as its last shift and try for its normalization. She served as 'company normalization promotion member' and went on to write 'normalize the company to the last' in blood in the last sector in drawing up a petition to the government in person.
Opposing a forced suppression by 2,000 police officers on August 11, she breathed her last(then at 21). She has been buried at democratic patriots graveyard in Maseok, Gyeonggi-do.
A labor activist from Daegu, Chun became a worker at a Peace Market clothing manufacturer in Seoul at the age of 17 after attending a high civic school for one year or so. On November 13, 1970, when the demonstrators who had taken to the streets in front of Peace Market were dispersed by the police, he burnt himself to death by splashing gasoline on his whole body. His death provided a great momentum for the future developments of labor movement and is rated to have opened a new horizon for labor movement in the 1970s.
by Kristin Pak
for the
International Strategy Center's
Solidarity Stories

Chu Kil-ja Elected as the first female president of Dongil's Union
The struggle to re-open it continued until 1998 when it was reincarnated as the Seoul Regional Textile Manufacturing Union.
Full transcript