As Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) took a mass disciplinary action against unionized workers who took part in a strike and sit-in to block a shareholders' meeting for the acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), the company's labor union has filed a series of relief applications with the local labor commission against HHI.
On Sept. 24, the HHI labor union submitted to the Ulsan Regional Labor Relations Commission a detailed application for unfair punishment and unfair labor practices of 1,415 union members who were disciplined by the company.
In May, they took part in a strike against the shareholders' meeting for the corporate division and were handed over to the personnel committee for violating the company regulations. The figure is equivalent to 14 percent of the 10,200 current members. Four of them were found to have been fired, 24 suspended and the rest ordered to stop work or reduced in salary.
The labor union held a press conference and said, "The Supreme Court judges that even a strike against a management decision could serve as a legitimate purpose if it is closely related to workers' labor conditions. It is clear that the company was responsible for unilaterally pushing ahead with the issue of corporate division, which affects union members' labor conditions, without consulting with the union. It was clearly a labor oppression that punished members who participated in the strike."
It added that the large-scale disciplinary action against ordinary members during the strike is a violation of the collective agreement and an unfair labor act to weaken the ongoing negotiations on the collective wage negotiations and the nullification of the corporate division this year.
HHI filed a 3 billion won compensation suit with the Ulsan District Court against the union and 10 union officials on July 23, and earlier won a 3 billion won decision on provisional seizure, including their deposits, bonds and real estate, citing securing damage bonds.
In response, the company said, "It will hold the union accountable for its illegal activities such as vandalism, theft and violence, while strictly taking disciplinary action through the personnel committee in accordance with the company regulations, and will hold the party accountable to the end in accordance with the principle of no-tolerance."