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Hwa-Jen Liu

Which Comes First? Labor or Environmental Movement?

by Hwa-Jen Liu

On November 13, 1970, Korean textile worker Chun Tae-Il led a ten-man demonstration protesting dire working conditions, demanding “a nine-hour workday with four days off a month.” As the confrontation came to an end, Chun set himself on fire, shouting, “We are not machines! Enforce the labor code.” Chun’s self-immolation and the struggles it inspired heralded a budding democratic union movement and exposed deep capital-labor...

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