The leader of the teachers' union in South Korea is facing arrest for 'obstructing official police business' during a raid on the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) in the capital, Seoul on Sunday. The raid was as a result of the strike by railway workers to stop the privatisation of the service - a struggle which is supported by the federation.

The raid involved hundreds of riot police who smashed their way into the offices, breaking the glass doors and pepper spraying those who resisted. They arrested 130 people in the building who attempted to prevent them. It has been condemned by international human rights organisations and seems only to have served to unite the trade union movement - the other main trade union federation, the KFTU the  has now come out in support of the railway workers.

The Korea Teachers Union is part of the federation whose offices were raided and has itself been the subject of prolonged attacks by the government, including the deligitimation of the union in October of this year beause it would not expel members who had been sacked by the state for campaigning against the government. The union fought the moves in the courts, which have granted an injunction against the government - however the case is still ongoing.

Now unions are planning a general strike from Saturday 28th December which will involve all workers including those in education. The attack on the union federation is part of a wider effort by the South Korean government to enforce neo-liberal policies on the country including privatisation. The vicious state response means there is a real need for international solidarity. Go to the Labourstart site to add your voice.