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Most American pistonheads' exposure to SsangYong is limited to Jeremy Clarkson beating one to death with a sledgehammer (or similar). However, not only did South Korea's fifth largest automaker once build Jeeps for the U.S. Army, in the 1970s they changed their name to Dong-A Motor. Obviously, they have since reconsidered. These days, they owe about half a billion dollars to various creditors and suppliers. As such, SsangYong managment has decided to go ahead and liquidate some assets and fire 37% of the company.

Not so fast, says The Wall Street Journal. According to the daily fishwrapper, a group of recently fired workers at an auto plant in Pyeongtaek occupied the shuttered plant several weeks ago and they have been using slingshots and molotov cocktails against approaching riot police in the lead up to Tuesday's raid. Until the raid, police responded by dropping tear gas on the workers from helicopters.

Finally, the police have attacked and about 80 commandos backed by choppers retook a few buildings. However, they have stopped short of capturing the highly flammable paint shop where between 500 and 540 strikers are still holed up. Said a union rep over the possibility of a raid on the paint shop, "We will respond to it, bracing ourselves for death."

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: Jung Yeon-Je/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too bad the law enforcement here didn't do the same to the protesting UAW workers in US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      First couple comments, typical ignorant schmucks who don't have a single clue about Korean culture and work ethic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wouldn't have been cheaper for the Police to tell SsanYong, to tell the workers they are re-hired, have them work for a couple of days and when they are out of the factory and least expect it....BAM...lock all of them out....the police could have footed the bill for a couple of days salaries....probably cheaper than operating all those extra police and helicopters....besides they could have sold to pay-per-view the day where the workers find out that it was all a ruse....
      • 5 Years Ago
      So their version of 'give me liberty or give me death' is 'give me work or give me death'? Wow. I guess they don't have temp services or access to Monster.com there?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't recall Clarkson beating a Ssangyong to death.

      Wasn't it a Perodua Kelisa? Or did he beat both to death?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The protesters are forgetting one thing - the company has no money, and is deeply in debt! It's one thing if the company has tons of money, but it seems like they're too stupid to understand basic economics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      they were looking for a good chinese car
      • 5 Years Ago
      The South Koreans sure know how to protest. Seen on the news quite a few times the uni students going nuts setting things on fire and fighting riot police
      • 5 Years Ago
      "we are prepared for death", seems like a problem that solves itself.
      but I kid.
      @Jung: Seriously? i heard Bin Ladden had some passion in him. How that work out?
      1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Korea should try to learn work ethics from Japan & Hong Kong, they would be a much better country. Having a job is truly a priviledge, in many ways korean unions are worse than UAW.
        • 5 Years Ago
        or maybe americans should just grow some balls and protest like they mean it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Justin, having a job is a privilage? From whose perspective? in my opinion, in todays world having a job is a NECESSITY. It can be turned both ways, employees don't do employers any favors and employers don't do employees any favors, one without another is nothing. So it can't be just that the employer is always right and he is the one dictating everything. Being an employer shouldn't be only about own profit but also taking responsibility for its own workers. Thats why most of the industralized nations have advantage over USA because a lot of social services are sponsored by the government.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Korean unions are nowhere near the UAW I dont know a single damn union rep that would stand up against tear gas and go against a police blockade and be prepared to die. And these people are not looking for a raise!!!! I highly disagree with you as implying that Korean work ethics are not up to to the standards of other surrounding countries. When in fact if you understood the culture a little more you would understand why they are having this reaction and that it would be the same if toyota, honda or even Dongfeng Motors went under in this same matter. These people have completly commited themselves to this job and cooperation religiously for its sucess because thats whats is required of you. You come only to expect the same dedication from mangement and when they take advantage of you and lie to you this is the result.

        *A korean would probably outwork you anyday of the week. Maybe you should take a trip to LA and find out?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh man, these workers and the police don't mess around, do they.

        It's a sad event, but on the other hand, it's good to see people have some passion left in them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        or maybe we should just ignore this
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