Purmil employees protest dairy company's decision to close business
Some 100 employees gathered in front of the headquarters of dairy company Purmil to protest against the company’s decision to close business and lay off their workers.
“I now became a sinner as the head of a household,” one employee shouted.
Workers from Purmil’s factories in Jeonju and Daegu rallied in front of the Purmil headquarters in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul, on Wednesday morning, the first time for employees of the company to ever gather for a protest since its business started in 1978.
The dairy company announced on Oct. 17 that it will close its business on Nov. 30, and sent a company-wide email to its approximately 350 employees informing them that they would be let go.
“The decision cannot be accepted,” said Kim Seong-gon, chairman of the Purmil labor union.
Kim called upon the management to come forth, asking them to sell the company instead and withdraw their decision to shut down the business and dismiss of all employees.
The rally continued for about two hours, but no one from the dairy company's management showed up.
The labor union also pointed out that Purmil’s announcement to employees less than 50 days before the day of dismissal is a violation of the Labor Standards Act.
Purmil, which stood at No. 10 in the domestic dairy industry in terms of market share in 2020, was known for its popular products such as "Milk with Black Soybean" and "Ganachoco Milk." It recorded 179.9 billion won ($125.6 million) in sales last year with an operating loss of 12.3 billion won. Lotte Milk, established in 1978, was spun off from Lotte Ham & Milk in April 2007. The company then changed its name to Purmil in 2009 and has been seeing continued losses since 2018.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO [email@example.com]