Labor activists demand S. Koreans’ release
Labor rights activists yesterday rallied in front of the Taipei City Hall in support of South Korean workers arrested by police during recent protests in Taiwan’s capital.
The activists demanded Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je immediately release all the workers from the South Korea- based Hydis and their Taiwanese supporters.
Eight workers from Hydis, a subsidiary of the Taiwan-based electronic paper maker E Ink Holdings, were arrested on June 9 while staging a protest in Taipei against the parent company’s decision to close the South Korean plant. They were then repatriated back to South Korea the next day.
Arrests of more Hydis workers from South Korea, along with local activists, were made yesterday morning during their attempt to enter a Taipei venue where the shareholders of Yong Feng Yu group — to which E Ink belongs — were having their annual meeting.
Yong Feng Yu’s group chairman, Ho Shou-chuan, failed to show up at the shareholders’ meeting.
The activists rallying in front of the city hall accused Ko of lying about supporting civil liberties, condemning the Taipei police of siding with the capitalists and using violence against the demonstrators.
A city official later came out to meet the protesters, claiming the mayor had not been aware of the protests and arrests before they happened.
The official said the mayor has now made instructions to protect the protesters’ civil liberties and human rights, and promised to launch an investigation to see if the police broke any law while handling the protests.
It is the third time that Hydis workers have set foot on Taiwan to stage protests since E Ink decided to shut down the South Korea plant.
E Ink is the world’s biggest supplier of electronic paper, which is used in mobile devices such as Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. But the popularity of electronic paper has been on the decline in the mobile device market.