The Korea Times and other local sources have reported an end to the labor strike at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction.
The Hanjin union leaders, who began the strike in protest of impending layoffs, signed an agreement, which consents to the proposed layoffs in exchange for increased retirement benefits and an immediate return to work for the employees.
However, about 60 employees are protesting the agreement, with about 30 chaining themselves atop a 50-meter crane. Thus, a stalemate may be forming between the union leaders and these union members, thus, possibly extending the strike and the negative image to Korea abroad.
Under the new revisions to the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act (effective on July 1, 2011) disgruntled union members will be permitted to form new unions within the same company.
However, for collective bargaining, one union, for efficency purposes, must be selected to represent the other union(s). In this way, it is possible for disgruntled employees, that receive the support of the majority of employees, to take over bargaining rights from the present leaders. This case could be the first test of these revisions. We will keep the reader updated.
It was initially believed that this law could help to weaken the power of the most radical of unions. Let’s see if the opposite can also be realized.
The implications of the revisions to the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act were previously discussed by us HERE.
- Legality of an Employer Lockout in Korea: Korean Labor & Employment Law Basics
- Terminate/Layoff an Employee in Korea: Terminating an Employee in Korea
- Korean Labour Relations by Tom Coyner
- Status of Interns Under the Korean Labor Standards Act: Employees Entitled to Severance/Minimum Wage?
- Samsung Investigated for Union Busting by Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor
- Guidelines on Rules of Employment & Guidelines on Fair Personnel Management Withdrawn by Korean Ministry of Employment
- Enforcement of Covenants Not to Compete in Employment Agreements in Korea: Restrictive Covenants in Korea
- Choice of Law Issues in Employment Disputes in Korea
- IPG’s Labor & Employment Law Practice: Proactive, Efficient & Unconflicted
- IPG’s Korean Employment & Labour Law Chapter in Global Legal Insights 2018