SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) – Thousands of workers from four chemical and defense affiliates of South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung staged a protest rally in Seoul Saturday against their group’s decision to sell their companies to smaller conglomerate Hanwha.
In November, the family-run Samsung announced plans to sell the four affiliates to Hanwha Group in a deal estimated at 1.9 trillion won (US$1.7 billion). The deal was seen as part of Samsung’s broad reorganization of its business lineup to support management succession from the ailing group chairman, Lee Kun-hee, to his three children.
On Saturday, some 2,300 workers from Samsung Techwin Co., Samsung General Chemicals Co., Samsung Thales Co. and Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co. held a protest rally in front of the group’s headquarters in southern Seoul, police said.
“(Samsung) should immediately halt the sale process and diligently engage in talks with the negotiating team that represents Samsung laborers. We cannot become the scapegoat of the deal which is part of Samsung’s power succession,” the protesters said in a statement.
The ailing Samsung group chairman remains hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in May last year. His only son, Jay-yong, has since stepped in, meeting with corporate counterparts and attending meetings.
Hanwha, whose core business areas include defense and solar power, plans to wrap up the acquisition during the first half of this year and has received government approval for the deal.