SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Korea Bizwire) – The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the guilty convictions of dozens of former and current Samsung executives accused of sabotaging labor union activities at a subsidiary company in 2013.
The court confirmed a 16-month prison sentence for Kang Kyung-hoon, a vice president at Samsung Electronics Co., on charges of violating labor union laws.
It also confirmed the acquittal of Lee Sang-hoon, former chairman of Samsung Electronics’ board of directors, citing the illegal means by which evidence was collected to prove his involvement in the case.
More than 30 Samsung executives and officials were indicted in 2018 on charges of leading and engaging in groupwide efforts to neutralize the labor union at Samsung Electronics Service, a customer service affiliate, by gathering personal information about members and leaking sensitive personal data to force them to leave the union.
The top court upheld suspended jail sentences for Won Gee-chan, CEO of Samsung Lions; Chung Keum Yong, CEO of Samsung C&T Corp.; and Park Yong-ki, vice president of Samsung Electronics.
It also maintained prison sentences for Choi Pyeong-seok and Park Sang-bum, who formerly served as Samsung Electronics Service’s executive director and CEO, respectively.
The defendants engaged in the union-disrupting operations while working at Samsung Group’s Future Strategy Office, which served as the top conglomerate’s control tower for formulating and executing labor-management strategies.
One strategy was to shut down subcontractors with militant trade unions.
“There is no error in the conclusion of the original trial that the closure of a Samsung subcontractor was ordered and induced by Samsung Electronics Service,” the court said.
Lee was acquitted in August by the Seoul High Court, which acknowledged that the evidence against him was collected unlawfully in a raid for a separate investigation into a bribery case involving former President Lee Myung-bak.
The appellate court noted, however, that the decision did mean the defendant was not involved in the union-busting operations.