FineTek union deal ends smokestack protest

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

FineTek union deal ends smokestack protest

The labor union of FineTek, a display equipment manufacturer, and management reached a labor deal Friday after two workers staged a sit-in on top of a smokestack at a power plant for more than a year to protest layoff.

Two of five FineTek unionized workers had been waging the protest atop the 75-meter (246-foot) smokestack at a combined heat and power plant in western Seoul for about 14 months, calling on the management to keep its promise on job security.

The workers went on a hunger strike last week as well, raising concerns about their health.

The labor deal will allow five workers to work again at a factory of FineTek, a subsidiary of Starflex, a manufacturer of plastic film.

The agreement also guarantees their job security for at least three years and provides the minimum hourly pay set for 2019 plus 1,000 won ($0.89).

“We will decide how to bring them back to the ground safely and fast by taking into account the condition of the two workers on the hunger strike,” a group supportive of the FineTek workers said.

The workers’ 426-day sit-in, the longest protest atop a smokestack in the country’s history, followed a similar protest staged by a FineTek worker at a factory smokestack in the city of Gumi, North Gyeongsang, for 408 days between 2014 and 2015.

Their labor strife traced back to 2010, when Star Chemical, a chemical company under Starflex’s wing, bought a now-defunct textile processing company where the five employees previously worked.

The parent company decided to sell a Star Chemical factory and liquidate the company, as Star Chemical posted a net loss in 2011-2012.

During the process, Starflex fired around 20 workers, including the five who refused to join voluntary retirement.

The initial sit-in in 2014-15 ended after Starflex agreed to reinstate workers at FineTek, a newly created company. But later, the company did not keep its promise, prompting the workers to start another smokestack rally in November 2017.

[YONHAP]

More in Social Affairs

Moon orders review of National Institute of Health plan

Health care company cluster grows to 29 patients

New virus cluster emerges at Seoul health care company

Cooling off

Stepmother charged after boy locked in suitcase dies

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now