March. 14. 2022
Hyundai Steel faces backlash for excessive measures
|Hyundai Steel’s steel plant in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province, is seen in this file photo. Courtesy of Hyundai Steel|
By Park Jae Hyuk
Hyundai Steel is facing backlash from employees for enforcing drastic measures in the name of safety after a series of fatal industrial accidents earlier this month, industry officials said Monday.
“After convening a teleconference of approximately 300 team leaders on March 8, the CEO banned them from taking days off and ordered them to work weekends for the next 100 days,” wrote one. person claiming to be a Hyundai Steel employee on Blind, an anonymous chat app for verified employees. “After the teleconference, leaders forced team leaders to order their team members to take turns working on holidays.”
The whistleblower also leaked a message from management, which says those who grossly negligently violate safety rules more than three times could be fired.
“The company is harassing innocent team leaders, forcing them to work without any days off,” another Hyundai Steel employee wrote. “What if they collapse from overwork?”
Some employees have asked their company’s minority shareholders to vote against the reappointment of CEO An Tong-il as an inside director at the March 23 general meeting of shareholders.
Hyundai Steel, however, said it has strengthened its safety measures to prevent the recurrence of fatal industrial accidents.
“Emergency measures will be implemented in accordance with the Labor Standards Act, so we will pay our employees for their work on public holidays,” a Hyundai Steel spokesperson said. “Repeated violation of security measures may also be grounds for disciplinary action under the law,”
Industry officials saw the recent dispute as a reaction to the Serious Accidents Prevention Act (SAPA), which assigns criminal liability to the company director if a fatal industrial accident occurs at a workplace managed by this company. business.
The CEO of Hyundai Steel is under investigation after a regular employee died at a steel mill in Dangjin, South Chungcheong province on March 2, and an irregular worker died at a factory in Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, on March 5. The Labor Employment Department also raided six workplaces linked to Hyundai Steel on Monday, following its previous raid on four workplaces on March 7.
A survey by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) showed that 37.8% of domestic companies demanded a revision of SAPA from the new administration, while 32.4% demanded a reform of the minimum wage law.
“The result reflects business concerns about the excessive penalties and uncertainties caused by SAPA, as well as the difficulties associated with the indiscriminate application of the minimum wage to all jobs,” an FKI official said in a press release. .