Asiana, Korean Air workers plan joint protest

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Asiana, Korean Air workers plan joint protest

Employees from Korean Air and Asiana Airlines will gather in front of the Blue House on Saturday to protest against the power abuse of their owner families.

While some Korean Air employees have voluntarily participated in past rallies held by Asiana, this is the first time that workers from Korea’s two largest airlines have jointly held a protest.

The leaders of a KakaoTalk chatroom - used by Asiana employees to discuss Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo’s abuse of power and the recent no-meal fiasco - announced Wednesday that they have decided to join forces with Korean Air employees who have been rallying against the power abuse of their owner family for months.

The protest will begin at 7 p.m. and will differ from previous rallies because the employees are planning to hold some special events. Protesters will compete to come up with increasingly extreme examples of power abuse from their corresponding owner families. This “power abuse-off” will be open to employees from Korean Air and Asiana and a single winner will be chosen at the end.

There will also be an event dubbed “Fly to the Moon,” where employees will write letters detailing their grievances and fold them into paper airplanes. It is not clear whether organizers plan to encourage protesters to throw their planes at the Blue House.

Asiana held a rally last Sunday that saw about 400 employees take part, mostly with their faces covered by masks or sunglasses to protect their identity and avoid repercussions. Some protesters also wore black in memory of the deceased CEO of a supplier to Sharp DO & CO, an airline catering company that is currently in a three-month temporary contract with Asiana. The CEO apparently committed suicide after failing to meet Asiana’s demanding meal supply targets.

According to an Asiana spokesperson on Thursday, the no-meal fiasco that led to roughly one third of Asiana’s international flights departing from Incheon without food earlier this month is gradually being resolved. There are no longer any delays or flights departing without food, although some still have a reduced menu.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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