Corea, República de - Steel company exposed for union busting

In September 2018 a member of Korea’s National Assembly, Chu Hye-seon of the minor opposition Justice Party, released internal company documents revealing attempts by steel company POSCO to get rid of its workers’ union.
Since its establishment in 1968, POSCO had operated without a union, but one was formed on 16 September 2018 under the stewardship of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU), affiliated to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
Workers accused POSCO management of trying to remove the union through unfair practices within a week of the union’s creation. One of the documents disclosed appears to have been written for field managers, stressing negative images of the union and describing it as a «belligerent» organisation that would destroy the company. The other was about stirring up negative sentiment against the union among employees. Notes from a senior management meeting suggested they should “select a department for a test run".
Anti-union pressure continued, and in October the KMWU filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office against 29 POSCO managers including CEO Choi Jeong-woo, accusing management of “unfair labour practices during the period before and after the formation of KMWU’s POSCO Local Union”.
The KMWU and two members of the National Assembly, Rep. Song Ok-joo of the ruling Democratic Party and Rep. Lee Jeong-mi of the Justice Party, held a press briefing on 23 October calling on POSCO to end its support for the enterprise union and its undermining of the KMWU union. They called on the Labour Ministry to investigate.
Anti-union activities continued with three of the local union officers being dismissed in December by POSCO, including union leader Han Dae-jeong, alleging they used violence when taking the notebooks that revealed the company’s anti-union strategy, which they deny.

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