South Korea Out on the Street

More strikes for more pay

From smoggy Seoul to the bustling port of Pusan, usually industrious South Koreans last week simply refused to do any more work. Strikers shut down the country's showcase automobile industry as well as textile factories and chemical plants. Taxi drivers and bus operators in Seoul and Kwangju declined to accept passengers. In all, some 200,000 workers were idled by job actions. A striker in Pusan expressed the pent-up frustrations of many: "It is our turn to receive humane treatment. We have the right to a decent living."

The strikers were doubtless encouraged by the success of the militant students, who, after...