Thousands of construction workers descended on Gwanghwamun Square on Thursday as part of a strike to call for increased wages and improved working conditions.

Around 30,000 members of the Korean Construction Workers' Union, part of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, were expected at the rally to demand a wage hike, an epa-efe journalist reports.

In addition to better pay, the striking laborers were demanding a revision to employment laws, a reform of basic labor rights and more job security and stability, as well as more youth employment opportunities.

Addressing the crowd, Lee Young-chul, chairman of the Construction Workers' Union, accused the social welfare system of failing to respect construction workers, particularly those involved in long-term hard labor.