La­bor ac­tivists de­mand S. Kore­ans’ re­lease

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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