Bamboo basket can’t carry water:

Before running for FIFA president, Chung Mong-joon should solve the problem of subcontract workers in Hyundai Heavy Industries

SEOUL, South Korea, Aug 16, 2015 ? In-house subcontract workers` union in HHI, Solidarity for Worker`s Health (SWH) and Park Won-seok, a national congressman today held a press conference at the National Assembly, urging that Chung Mong-joon should solve the problem of HHI`s in-house subcontract workers before he runs for FIFA`s presidential election.


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Worldwide, Chung Mong-joon is well known as a former FIFA vice president. On the other hand, he is a powerful businessman as well as a politician in Korea. Mr. Chung is the controlling shareholder of HHI, one of the top ten chaebols in Korea and the world`s biggest shipbuilder.


There have been several issues with regard to subcontract workers in HHI; first, thirteen subcontract workers were killed in their workplace, while working for HHI in 2014, and the death toll was highest in recent years. It is believed that the recent increase of death is associated with the “risk-outsourcing” policy of HHI. Second, since 2004 HHI has obstructed activities of in-house subcontract worker`s labor union. Workers got fired, simply because they had participated in union activities. Even now, it is hard for the dismissed union activists to get a new job. Finally, HHI is carrying out a large-scale restructuring by shutting down subcontracting companies. There is a clue that HHI is substantially involved in the shutdown of subcontracting companies. It is thought for HHI to choose a so-called “shut down” policy rather than firing regular workers, which is restricted by the labor code.


Subcontract workers and NGOs believe that Chung Mong-joon is responsible for the issues, not only because he is a major shareholder, but Mr. Chung, as an owner of the chaebol, has a substantial power to exert influence on HHI. In this sense, subcontract workers and NGOs are raising a question whether Chung Mong-joon is the right person to address FIFA corruption scandals, to lead FIFA reform process and to ensure that FIFA events uphold human rights standards.


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At a press conference, Subcontract workers and NGOs urged that before running for FIFA presidential election, Chung Mong-joon should take following actions;


1)    Order to stop unfair labor practices to subcontract workers

2)    Order to stop the mass dismissal of subcontract workers in the name of “restructuring”

3)    Take measures to prevent workplace injuries to the great extent and to make such measures public


Ha Chang-min, the representative of in-house subcontract workers` union in HHI said that “if our demands are not met or Chung Mong-joon does not reply to our demands, subcontract workers, in solidarity with international NGOs and trade unions, are going to carry on an international campaign against him”.


After the news conference, subcontract workers are going to stage an anti-Chung Mong-joon performance at Gwang Hwa Moon square.



A Report On Workplce Injuries at HHI- Hyundai Heavy Industrues