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Samsung’s top brass hears about labor relations from presidential council

Samsung Electronics heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)

Around 20 CEOs of Samsung Electronics and its affiliates on Monday attended a lecture by the head of the presidential council on economic, social and labor affairs, according to the company.

The South Korean tech giant invited Moon Sung-hyun, chairperson of the presidential Economic, Social and Labor Council, and arranged a special lecture for the leaders of affiliates, including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam, Samsung C&T CEO Lee Young-ho and Samsung Life Insurance CEO Jeon Young-muk.

The lecture was planned as a follow-up measure of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong’s public apology that admitted the conglomerate’s unlawful practices intended to disrupt labor activities at affiliates.

“Samsung will respectfully listen to criticisms and advises from outside the company to learn various views in our society,” Lee said during the apology made on May 6.

During the lecture, Moon called on the Samsung executives to change their perception about labor-management relations, as he touched upon the history of labor activities in Korea, forecasts about changing labor-management relations and external views on Samsung’s relations with workers.

Samsung has announced the conglomerate will no longer maintain the “no union” policy kept for the past 50 years since its foundation. An official labor union under the Federation of Korean Trade Unions kicked off in November.

On Friday last week, Kim Yong-hee, a former employee of the now-defunct Samsung Techwin, ended his nearly one-year protest atop a 25-meter tower in Seoul, after the firm apologized and promised to resolve what he claims was an unlawful dismissal in 1995 in relation to his move to organize a labor union.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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