Statement from ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

The Australian union movement utterly condemns the arrest and detention of the chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Kim Myeong-hwan in South Korea.

Mr Kim was arrested on June 21, after a court in Seoul issued an arrest warrant.

Mr Kim and the KCTU have led protests against a bill that lets employers increase working hours to 64 hours a week for up to three months a year without overtime pay.

The ACTU stands with South Korean working people and their unions.

All working people have the right of representation and the use of the mechanisms of government to silence political dissent is an affront to the principles and values of trade unionists everywhere.

We call on the South Korean government to release Mr Kim and cease harassment and detention of working people’s representatives.