Or­a­cle work­ers press­ing CEO Kim to step down

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Baek Byung-yeul baekby@ko­re­atimes.co.kr

It has been a month since Or­a­cle Korea em­ploy­ees be­gan strik­ing. Given they are one of the few unions at the Korean unit of a for­eign IT com­pany, there has been some doubt that the strike would go this long, but they are still fight­ing for fair com­pen­sa­tion and im­proved work­ing con­di­tions.

Dozens of union mem­bers gath­ered in front of Assem Tower in south­ern Seoul, where the Korea branch of the U.S. tech gi­ant is lo­cated, on a cloudy Thurs­day morn­ing and asked for the im­me­di­ate res­ig­na­tion of Kim Hyung-rae, CEO of Or­a­cle Korea, chant­ing “Kim Hyung-rae out.”

They be­gan the walk­out, May 16, af­ter they failed to reach an agree­ment with com­pany man­age­ment. Ninety-six per­cent of the mem­bers agreed on the strike ac­tion. Though it was only a three-day strike at first, the union ex­tended it.

“It has been a month since we went on a strike, but the word we re­ceived from man­age­ment is to ‘with­draw the strike ac­tion,’” Kim Chul-soo, leader of Or­a­cle Korea’s union said. “We’ve met only one time af­ter we started the strike, and they said they can start talk­ing once we with­draw the walk­out ac­tion. We see no will­ing­ness from them to ne­go­ti­ate.”

Or­a­cle Korea em­ploy­ees formed a union last Septem­ber to protest what they called the com­pany’s un­fair and non-trans­par­ent salary sys­tem.

“We have seen no wage in­crease over the past 10 years. Also, there are work­ers who work about 80 to 100 hours a week, but they don’t get com­pen­sated for that. Man­age­ment has said you can use com­pen­satory leave if you work over­time but it is lit­er­ally im­pos­si­ble for them to use it in such a sit­u­a­tion,” Kim said.

To let more peo­ple know the sit­u­a­tion here, Kim said the union is co­op­er­at­ing with the UNI Global Union, an or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing over 20 mil­lion work­ers world­wide.

“The UNI Global Union is sched­uled to hold a congress in Liver­pool from June 17 to 20. There, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Korea’s unions will tell them what the union of Or­a­cle Korea has been strug­gling with,” Kim said.

The union also plans to visit Or­a­cle’s head­quar­ters in Red­wood City, Calif.

“We don’t think the com­pany man­age­ment here at Or­a­cle Korea sent a clear mes­sage about our com­plaint. So we de­cided to visit the head­quar­ters in the U.S. and will am­plify our mes­sage to them,” Kim said.

Korea Times photo by Baek Byung-yeul

Or­a­cle Korea work­ers rally in front of ASEM Tower in south­ern Seoul where Or­a­cle’s Korea branch of­fice is lo­cated, Thurs­day.

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