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Samsung Electronics’ biggest trade union to launch this week

The fourth and biggest Samsung Electronics labor union will be launched under the Federation of Korean Trade Unions this week, industry sources said Tuesday.

Breaking a 50-year streak of adherence to an anti-union stance, it marks the first time that the country’s largest family-run conglomerate will allow the establishment of a union under the federation. It already has three small labor unions.

Around 400 Samsung employees are rumored to have signed up for the fourth union. The company did not confirm the figure.

The new trade union held a general meeting on its formation Sunday and submitted its application to the Ministry of Employment and Labor on Monday.

It will hold a press conference Saturday to announce the kickoff, which will be attended by the trade unions of LG Electronics and SK hynix.

Under the so-called “no-union” policy since the foundation of Samsung Group, there have been attempts to create labor unions at Samsung affiliates like Everland and Samsung Electronics Service.

Over the course of those attempts, 32 members of the firm’s management team, including Lee Sang-hoon, the chair of Samsung Electronics’ board of directors, have been indicted on charges of disrupting attempts to establish unions. Those cases are still ongoing.

By Song Su-hyun (