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article imageSamsung chairman Lee Sang-hoon indicted for anti-union practices

By Tim Sandle     Sep 28, 2018 in Business
The chairman of Lee Sang-hoon has been indicted on union sabotage charges. Lee is just one of twenty seven other Samsung employees to be charged for similar practices.
The charges leveled against Samsung's top officials (plus executives from its partnering firms) reflect several years of concern about the company's views and practices in relation to trade unions. One charge leveled by prosecutors was over Samsung engaging in practices which sought to discourage its workers from joining trade unions. As it stands less than 300 of the company’s 200,000 South Korean employees are labor union members (a proportion that is low for a South Korean firm).
According to prosecution official Kim Soo-hyun: "This is meaningful in that Samsung’s long-disputed policy of not tolerating labor unions has mostly turned out to be true."
Although Lee has only been chairman of the electronic's company since since March 2018, he previously served as the Chief Financial Officer. According to TechCrunch, Lee's time as CFO saw him allegedly involved with seeking to cut wages of Samsung employees who were union members and to end trade agreements with union-friendly contractors.
Commenting on the decision, trade union activist Ra Doo-shik said that the indictment was encouraging and "We are hoping that upcoming court proceedings will reveal the true picture."
In 2017, Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee (Lee Jae-yong) was given a five-year prison sentence (later reversed in February 2018) following charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. This, plus the recent anti-union practice charges, may trigger a shake-up of the Samsung board.
More about Samsung, Union, Trade unions, Lee Sanghoon
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