SAMSUNG Must Stop Singling out Union Members for Audit and Contract Termination! SAMSUNG, Bow your Head and Apologize to the Deceased and Bereaved! 1 November KMWU Candlelight Vigil in Cheonan, South Korea
Samsung union busting drives union member to suicide
Leaving a suicide message reading, “The whole time I worked at SAMSUNG Electronics SVC was so hard for me. I’ve been living in poverty, desperately hungry, and everyone’s struggling so hard that just bearing witness to this was also painful. Though I can’t be like JEON, Tae-il, still I have made my choice. Please, I hope it helps,” wrote 32-year old father of a baby girl awaiting her first birthday, CHOI, Jong-beom before ending his life alone on a desolated street in Cheonan, Korea on 31 October 2013.
Union member CHOI had been subject to a tirade of profane language and personal invective by his boss insulting CHOI’s character and dignity in reprimand for a customer claim. CHOI Jong-beom was also being harassed during a sudden special audit process. After the workers formed a union, Samsung began singling out trade union members for targeted audit of service jobs they performed 3 years ago, and thus CHOI was experiencing daily harassment and pressure from management. Further, although it was the off-season–during which workers suffer reduced wages owing to the renumeration system of commission on job orders–Samsung deliberately reduced further the wages of CHOI, Jong-beom, who had previously had a lot of a work orders, by partioning off and taking part of the region he was responsible for servicing, curtailing his job orders (“지역 쪼개기”).
The KMWU Samsung Electronics Service local see this as “a clear case tantamount to murder by Samsung in line with Samsung-Group union-busting scenarios detailed in the ‘S-Group labor management strategy’” and promised to struggle to fulfill CHOI Jong-beom’s vision of better rights for the workers. The union is calling on Samsung to apologize to CHOI’s survivors, to restore honor to CHOI Jong-Beom, to stop the targeted auditing, restructuring for wage disadvantage to union members and pressure of workers who join the union, to recognize the union and begin collective bargaining.