Chairman of the board of Samsung Electronics Imprisoned for 18 months for sabotaging union activities
17th December 2019.
A South Korean court has sentenced the chairman of the board of Samsung Electronics to 18 months in prison for sabotaging union activities, in a ruling likely to add pressure on the technology giant to overhaul its corporate culture.
Dozens of other current and former employees at various Samsung units were also convicted on Tuesday for their mistreatment of trade unions. State prosecutors have said Samsung executives used various tactics to discourage union activities, including threatening to cut the wages of employees linked to unions and withdraw business from subcontractors who appeared union-friendly.
Samsung group, South Korea’s biggest conglomerate, is facing growing public pressure to reset relations with its workers following a decades-long antitrade union stance. While not an official policy, Samsung has publicly expressed an aversion to unions, stating that they “create unnecessary conflicts”.
Labour activists have called for strong punishment for Samsung executives involved in sabotaging efforts to organise union activities.
It is a meaningful ruling which ended the Korean government's long-standing practice of giving SAMSUNG corporate impunity from punishment for crimes even though the crimes had victims and despite the company's deliberate, elaborately pre-planned, systematic and organizationally-mobilized methodical carrying-out of the crimes ~ and probable recidivism and destruction of evidence.
But somehow, corporate leaders who were at the center of the fierce union busting in the latter half of 2013 -- namely CHOI Gee-sung (Future Strategy office of Samsung Group) and Chairman LEE Kun-hee and the corporate magnate's family members -- were not even indicted.
Indeed, the KMWU press statement following the courts decision called for re-detention of Samsung magnate LEE Jay-yong.