KT calls in investigators after apparent suicide of worker

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KT calls in investigators after apparent suicide of worker

An online petition uploaded on the Blue House website on Sept. 17 claimed that a KT staff committed suicide on Sept. 15 after being bullied by his team leader since June this year. The petition gained over 11,800 signatures as of Thursday afternoon. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

An online petition uploaded on the Blue House website on Sept. 17 claimed that a KT staff committed suicide on Sept. 15 after being bullied by his team leader since June this year. The petition gained over 11,800 signatures as of Thursday afternoon. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

 
KT requested on Thursday that labor authorities look into the death of one of its workers, as he left a note saying that he had been bullied. The telecommunications company also started a probe of the incident itself.
 
A KT employee died at a motel on the morning of Sept. 15, and a note was found saying that he has been bullied by a superior since they started working together in June. A man who claimed to be his son uploaded an online petition to the Blue House website on Sept. 17. The petition gained over 11,800 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
 
“We found a suicide note at the house, and it was directed at one specific person,” the petition said, explaining that the deceased had confided in his son about the bullying issue for months. “The new team leader, who was younger than my father, had been insulting him and spreading rumors about his past to his colleagues to turn them away from him since June.”
 
The post did not reveal the company, but news outlets reported that it is KT. KT confirmed it on Thursday and said that it has requested an investigation by the Seoul Regional Employment and Labor Office, which is under the Ministry of Employment and Labor.
 
“We will take firm measures according to the results of the investigation,” KT said.
 
The deceased had been working at the company’s East Busan branch. The team leader and the branch director have not made an apology to the family and “only asked what they wanted,” according to the New Labor Union.
 
“There have been many cases in KT where a team leader frequently insults a teammate and excludes them from the team by prompting others to leave them out too,” the union said in a statement.
 
The union strongly criticized KT's hierarchical corporate culture. It urged CEO Koo Hyun-mo and the company to take measures to make sure that similar cases do not happen again.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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