The reason why Chanel Korea employees took to the streets
The reason why Chanel Korea employees took to the streets
  • Lee Jun-sung
  • 승인 2018.04.17 09:48
  • 댓글 0
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Image source: Chanel Korea’s Labor Union

A demand for a raise of 70,000 won per year; the company says “not possible”.
Chanel Korea’s Labor Union took to the streets demanding a raise of 70,000 won per year.

On April 14th, about 330 Chanel Korea labor union members staged a partial strike and held a rally in Seoul Station Plaza at 7:00 pm. It has been 21 days since Chanel Korea Labor union staged its first strike. 

They insisted the following by stating: “Except for the manager, the salary is the same for the second, third, fourth, and the youngest employee.” “I have been loyal to Chanel for more than 10 years but how am I earning the same as a part-time employee...” “Reduce labor time by recruiting personnel.”

Chanel Korea’s Labor Union has been working on partial strikes and dispute activities since March 25th, demanding that the base wage be raised as much as the minimum wage this year.

Currently, the labor union demands wage increases of 0.3 percent, ranging from 6,000 won per person to 72,000 won per year. 

Chanel Korea’ Labor union engaged in wage negotiations with Chanel Korea through the arbitration of the Ministry of Employment and Labor, but failed to negotiate as the company offered to pay differential rates of bonuses just as an alternative.

Chanel’s Labor Union filed a complaint with the Seoul Regional Employment and Labor Office on April 12th, accusing Chanel Korea of illegal labor practices. This was because on April 9th, the labor supervisor of the Ministry of Employment and Labor caught the company attempting to coax union members out of the labor union by contacting them separately.

Kim So-yeon, Chairman of the Chanel Korea’s Labor Union, said, “I have been told that the company called in a union member who withdrew from the union early this month to negotiate wages. Such acts are against the labor laws and is the reason why we reported it to the Ministry of Labor.”

Chanel has raised product prices this year by 2.4 percent. However, according to the labor union, 70 percent of the 300 employees in Korea are receiving a base salary that is below the minimum wage. The labor union and the company negotiated twice on the 3rd and 4th, but there was a rupture in disagreement over the wage increase rate gap of 0.3 percent. Even though the increase was 6,000 won per person per month, the company did not accept it. 

Meanwhile, the company said that the base salary exceeds the minimum wage, but details cannot be disclosed. 

On the other hand, employees of Chanel’s cosmetic division greeted customers wearing T-shirts and jeans instead of wearing a uniform. It is a protest against the base wage, which is even lower than the minimum wage. Originally, the company’s sales staff had to be fully dressed with color make-up, nail polish, and even neat hairstyles before they arrived each day. 

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