The affiliated entity of South Korea’s largest tech company announced it had agreed with the Korean Metal Workers’ Union to directly employ the workers from about 90 subcontractors.
The 8,000 workers are members of the trade union. It marks an unprecedented case at Samsung of turning workers into regular employees while keeping their labor union membership.
The labor union has been demanding that subcontractor workers be granted the status of full-time workers since 2013, citing how they are directly supervised by the service arm’s employees.
The decision came amid an ongoing prosecutors’ investigation into Samsung Group’s systematical efforts to nullify the trade union at the service arm.
“The company will guarantee the legal activities of the labor union,” said the service affiliate in a press release. “We will also take steps to seek development of the company by settling disputes with workers.”
In January 2017, the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of the company, judging that the subcontractor workers could not be deemed Samsung’s regular employees.
Some industry watchers say such a decision may bring about a change in Samsung’s long-held principle of intolerance toward trade unions.
Across all Samsung affiliates, there are a total of eight trade unions at Samsung C&T, Samsung Welstory, Samsung SDI, Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Securities, Samsung Engineering, Samsung S One and Samsung Electronics Service.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)