Corea, República de - Trade Union of Security Guards at US Military Bases in Korea on strike has faced lawsuits (2012)

US Force Korea (USFK) has outsourced security guard service for its bases in Korea. G4S Secure Solution Ltd. In September 2011, G4S won the latest bid to the contract with USFK. For decades, previous contractors including G4S itself always respected the succession rights of employment. However, in September G4S denied the employment succession and layed off 150 workers. In addition, G4S offered drastically deteriorated working conditions, including reducing the wage level by 30% and increasing working hours by 68 hours per month by changing the shift system (from 4 teams and 3 shifts to 3 teams and 2 shifts).

Hence the trade union of 864 security guards at US Bases in Korea (Joeun System Trade Union), an affiliate of the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), tried to negotiate with G4S for the employment succession and the previous terms and working condition at least. G4S rejected the offer and started a new recruitment process.

As of the 1st of December 2011, the union went on strike while making every effort to resolve the dispute through dialogue. G4S, however, proposed to re-employ 300 out of 864 workers. FKTU has also proposed dialogue with G4S, who rejected any further negotiations in terms of the employment succession rights.

G4S has been found to violate the Labour Standard Act in terms of working hours by the Ministry of Employment and Labour, who filed the case to the public prosecutor’s office. The union demanded of USFK the termination of the current contract with G4S as the contract was not in compliance with Korean Labour Laws.

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