South Korea Unions protest despite Covid-19 restrictions.

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Members of South Korea’s main trade union defied government coronavirus restrictions to rally in support of demands for better working conditions and pay despite police efforts to block the gathering.

Hundreds of police lined up with metal barriers to block the rally outside a government building but the trade unionists surged past to gather in a nearby park.

The government as a result, extended semi-lockdown measures in Seoul and neighbouring areas, which include a ban on gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m.

It was reported that the city will file a complaint against the labour group with the police for breaching anti-epidemic guidelines. 

Interior Minister Jeon Hae-cheol had earlier warned of stern action against any group holding a banned rally in violation of anti-epidemic rules.

Wonju city tightened its restrictions to the highest level with effect from midnight on Thursday, with a ban on rallies but the trade union rejected the restrictions as “baseless”.

South Korea’s tally of infections stands at 185,733, with a death toll of 2,066, official data showed. The vaccination rate remains low, with just over 13% of the 52 million population fully vaccinated, while the government aims to reach herd immunity before November.