A young unionist at South Korea’s second biggest shipyard set fire to himself and jumped from the roof of a four-story building to protest a freeze on wages, company officials said Tuesday.
They said that Lee Sang Mo, 20, of the Daewoo business group’s shipyard on the southern island of Koje, doused himself with alcohol, set himself on fire and jumped from the roof of a dormitory block. He died in a hospital, setting off an overnight sit-in by more than 500 workers. Company officials said that production at the yard, already in financial difficulties, was not affected.
The union demands a 57% pay raise but the company has announced a wage freeze, citing the yard’s debt totaling $1.8 billion.