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S. Korea braces for massive strike
( 2003-11-12 11:02) (CNN.com)

South Korea's police are bracing themselves for another clash with the country's largest and most militant labor union.

About 150,000 unionists from car making, metals, textile and chemicals industries are set to down tools and participate in the full-day nation-wide strike, the Korean Confederation of Trade Union, or KCTU, says.

The walk out is in protest against laws allowing companies to seize wages or assets from workers as well as sue over illegal protests.

More than 5,000 police have been deployed while South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has called for calm.

Wednesday's strike follows violent protests at the weekend by KCTU supporters.

Police officials said more than 44 officers were injured and 100 protesters were hurt in a rally on Sunday in Seoul.

Then, iron pipe wielding KCTU members used slingshots to fire nuts and bolts and hurled hundreds of petrol bombs at police in the capital's center.

The protest -- one of the most violent in years -- signaled a resurgence of labor unrest which the government is worried could drive away foreign investment.

THE KCTU and other unions have become frustrated at Roh's tougher anti-union stance borught on after a series of damaging strikes at some of South Korea's biggest companies, such as Hyundai.

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