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[Editorial] Union demand

If a company is to prosper, one of the first things it must do is hire people with skills, knowledge, capacity and other qualifications that can be put to good use. It goes without saying that no restrictions should be placed on the process of selecting qualified persons from among job applicants.

But Hyundai Motor Co.’s unionized workers demand their children be given favors when they apply for employment ― a request beyond comprehension. They are virtually saying the automaker should hire people simply because they are their children.

The union has decided to include this demand among items soon to be negotiated with the management. The demand reads: The employer is required to hire children of those having retired at the set age or working for 25 consecutive years or longer ahead of other job applicants. Should its demand prevail, about 200 people would now stand to gain additional scores in the screening of job applicants.

Employment by Hyundai is coveted by many because the pay is high and the working conditions are good. No wonder many unionized Hyundai employees would like to see their children hired by the automaker. But it is one thing to demand they be properly rewarded and it is quite another to demand their children be hired as compensation.

A lame excuse comes from the union, which says it is calling on the employer to make a “symbolic gesture” of rewarding late-career workers and retirees by giving additional scores to their children, not demanding they be hired unconditionally. But it is not just employer groups but the general public and many pro-labor activist groups that condemn the union’s demand.

The demand may be intended as a bargaining chip, as some speculate. Even so, it is a wrong chip to use. It should be withdrawn immediately.
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