KDB requests sit-down with Asiana unions about takeover

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KDB requests sit-down with Asiana unions about takeover

Labor unions members from Asiana Airlines and Korean Air Lines protest the latter’s acquisition of the former in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Wednesday. [NEWS1]

Labor unions members from Asiana Airlines and Korean Air Lines protest the latter’s acquisition of the former in Yeouido, western Seoul, on Wednesday. [NEWS1]

 
State-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB) proposed a meeting with Asiana Airlines labor unions to discuss Korean Air Lines' acquisition of Asiana Airlines.

 
KDB released a statement on Friday saying that it had requested to meet with labor unions of Asiana Airlines before it invests in Hanjin KAL, which owns almost 30 percent of Korean Airlines, to indirectly finance the historic takeover.
 
The meeting “is to timely reflect the opinions of Asiana Airlines labor unions, a key interest group, in relations to employment stability ahead of the scheduled investment next week and the post-merger integration process,” KDB wrote.  
 
Earlier this month, KDB announced it will invest in Hanjin KAL, which will buy shares of Korean Air Lines to help in its acquisition of Asiana Airlines. It said the goal is to restructure the airline industry that has been battered by travel restrictions from Covid-19 and to supervise Hanjin KAL.
 
The due date for KDB’s investment in Hanjin KAL is Dec. 2.  
 
Ever since KDB announced its plan to support the acquisition, Asiana Airlines labor unions have objected the decision, along with a host of others, including Hanjin KAL’s largest shareholders.  
 
On Wednesday, the labor unions criticized KDB Chairman Lee Dong-gull. They argued Lee “is threatening [Asiana Airlines] with bankruptcy if it isn’t sold,” adding that “selling Asiana Airlines to Korean Air Lines reveals the government’s failed airline policy.”  
 
Financial Services Commission Chairman Eun Sung-soo on Friday during a plenary session said that “there is no alternative apart from the merger to keep employment and to reduce [the waste of] public funds.”
 
The unions of Asiana Airlines and Korean Air Lines released a statement Friday saying that their stance on the need to "negotiate the acquisition from square one remains unchanged." They added that any meeting without Korean Air Lines and its labor union is "meaningless" and argued the validity of the acquisition is in question.
 
 
BY JIN MIN-JI   [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
 
 
 
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