[EDITORIALS]Bank union pushing limitsThe Chohung Bank union is becoming more and more tough talking and violent. The union leaders held a press conference with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions representative and declared that they would start a general strike of indefinite duration Wednesday and that the bank’s computer system would be turned off.
They also warned that, if the sale of the bank takes place on schedule, they would hold strikes unprecedented in violence and that the administration would be saddled with extreme confrontation with labor during its five-year term. The Chohung union has committed quite a few illegal acts already. Now, they have committed themselves to ever more extreme means to subvert state policy.
Turning off of a bank’s computer system has never happened. No such act took place even when five banks, including Donghwa Bank, were closed right after the foreign exchange crisis in 1997. It is tantamount to holding customers hostages.
After the decision was made to sell Chohung to Shinhan Finance Group, the union stole records to disrupt an on-the-spot review and crashed a meeting of the Public Fund Oversight Committee a few days ago.
The pain of restructuring is understandable. The union’s demand for reemployment of its members should be accepted if possible. But the union cannot play a leading role in the bank sale. There is no such precedence. If the union continue to behave in such a manner, it will only lose the power of persuasion. If the computer system is turned off, customers will be agitated and deposits will be withdrawn.
Despite a huge influx of public funds, normalization of the bank’s management is still a long way off. In a way, the union members are also responsible for the insolvency.
The union emphasizes that President Roh Moo-hyun promised to let the bank stand on its own feet. Even if there were such a promise, it is not an issue that can be solved by politics. The future of the bank will be decided from the view of the financial industry and the prospect of retrieving public funds. The government should not be pushed around by the union any more. People are fed up.