The Korea Herald


Court rejects arrest warrant for 'tower crane' protester


Published : Nov. 14, 2011 - 09:38

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A regional court refused to issue an arrest warrant for a female labor activist, whose marathon protest atop a tower crane helped settle an 11-month-long labor dispute at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction's shipyard in Busan.

The Busan District Court dismissed the police's request for the warrants on Kim Jin-sook and three other protesters -- two former Hanjin Heavy employees and one regional labor activist. The four were accused of leading unionized workers' labor strike over the shipbuilder's massive layoffs announced last year. Police raised charges of business obstruction and intrusion against them.

Rejecting the request, Judge Nam Sung-woo said, "Kim peacefully came down from the crane following a labor-management agreement, and Hanjin Heavy submitted a petition pleading for leniency.

She also needs time to recover her health from the long-term sit-in at the crane."

Kim is unlikely to escape police investigations altogether, the judge also noted.

The female activist, a former employee of Hanjin Heavy's predecessor, ended her 309-day sit-in atop a 35-meter crane at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan last week after the labor union struck a deal to end their dispute with the management.

Hanjin Heavy's unionized workers started their protest in December as the company announced a plan to cut 400 manufacturing jobs in its loss-making Yeongdo and Dadaepo shipyards in Busan as part of cost-reduction efforts. (Yonhap News)