SEOUL, June 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Employees at Samsung Life Insurance Co. can launch another labor union following approval from labor authorities, a union official said Thursday, a month after parent Samsung Group’s heir apparent vowed to scrap the group’s “no labor union” policy.
The life insurer’s second labor union came in response to some 50 workers’ desire for an alternative to their bigger labor union, which they claim failed to represent the interests of Samsung Life Insurance, said Kim Kil-soo, a co-chair of the smaller union.
Currently, Samsung Life Insurance has another labor union, which boasts about 3,200 members out of some 5,000 employees.
The move came a month after the group’s apparent heir Lee Jae-yong apologized to those who were hurt by the group’s “no-labor union” policy.
In March, Samsung Group’s independent compliance committee recommended Lee to make a public apology and improve Samsung’s behavior regarding the issue of Lee’s managerial succession, labor relations and communication with civil society.
For decades, Samsung had disallowed labor unions, claiming that its policy leads the conglomerate to better ensure its workers’ rights and welfare.
In 2012, Samsung said it recognizes the representative of employees as a management partner.
Samsung Group is South Korea’s largest conglomerate, with 61 affiliates, whose business portfolio ranges from electronics and construction to life insurance and fashion and a theme park.
More than 10 Samsung affiliates, including Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI and Samsung Securities, have labor unions.