More selfishness at Ssangyong

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More selfishness at Ssangyong

Negotiations between the Ssangyong Motor labor union and management have broken down. They’ve had lengthy negotiations for the past four days on how to rescue laid-off workers, but have failed to come to an agreement.

Although both the labor union and management must take responsibility for the breakdown in negotiations, the labor union has greater responsibility since it has only pushed its arguments ahead. Even though the current strike is illegal, management presented its final offer to rescue 40 percent of laid-off workers by giving them a choice to take unpaid leave, considering the potential impact on the people concerned, not to mention the local economy.

Even though the offer will have negative repercussions for the court’s decision on whether the company should be revived or not, a decision scheduled to be handed down Sept. 15, the company went ahead with its suggestion.

But the labor union has stuck to its demand that all of the workers keep their jobs and turned the offer down. The unionized workers are only trying to save themselves and do not care about anyone else. It is the height of selfish behavior.

If the company closes, it will be not just be the unionized workers participating in the protest who lose their jobs, but also their colleagues, whose job losses could be prevented.

Who will take responsibility for the employees of the automaker’s partner companies and area residents?

There is only one way. The Ssangyong Motor issue must be resolved according to the law and market principles. If the situation becomes protracted, the damage to innocent people will only increase. Ssangyong’s partner companies are reportedly appealing for bankruptcy protection. The court must evaluate the companies’ value with accuracy and decide as soon as possible whether they should go bankrupt or not.

Meanwhile, the judicial authorities must work to restore order. When an illegal strike continues for weeks and protestors wield weapons in broad daylight, can our country really be considered a constitutional one? Foreign investors are already sick and tired of our militant labor unions and avoid investing in Korea. It is terrible to imagine what they will make of the current situation.

It is also very important to know how the issue should be handled once it is resolved. The practice of staging strikes with the idea that physical power is stronger than the law must end. If not, there will be a second and a third Ssangyong Motor affair. The judicial authorities must root out the unionized workers who caused casualties and economic damage in the course of the illegal strike and punish them in accordance with civil and criminal law.

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