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Unionized bank workers set for general strike Sept. 23

All News 17:49 September 07, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- An umbrella labor union of bank workers nationwide said Wednesday it will press ahead with a general strike later this month to protest the government's push for a performance-based pay system, leaving the door open for additional collective actions if needed.

The Korean Financial Industry Union, which claims more than 100,000 members, "will go on a general strike, joined by 34 entities, on Sept. 23 at the Sangam World Cup Stadium" in western Seoul, the union's leader Kim Moon-ho told reporters.

He added the union has already distributed a written notice for customers requesting their understanding on inconveniences from the "abnormal operations" of banking services on the starting day.

The union is strongly opposed to the government-led introduction of a system to pay workers at the financial industry in accordance with their performance.

It calls for more consultations on the sensitive issue to reduce possible adverse effects, while demanding the improvement of the working conditions of bank workers.

South Korea's financial authorities have pushed for the introduction of the meritocracy first in public financial services firms, putting tacit pressure on private banks as well.

"Competition (among workers and banks) is already fierce. If such a performance-linked pay system is introduced, there will be huge negative effects such as an increase in incomplete sale (of products)," Kim argued.

There will be a vote on the second and third general strike when union members gather on Sept. 23, he added.

He also said his union will file for a court injunction against the implementation of a performance-based salary plan approved by the board of directors at some public financial firms without prior consultations with their labor unions.


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