South Korean Ends Yearlong Tower Protest After Samsung Apologizes

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The man, Kim Yong-hee, 60, climbed the 82-foot tower near Samsung’s headquarters​ in Seoul on June 10, demanding that the tech giant apologize and offer compensation for what he called its illegal decision to fire him ​25 years ago ​for union activism. He chose his midair protest site, ​overlooking the busiest intersection in the South Korean capital, to highlight his ​grievance against the country’s​ most powerful conglomerate.

“I hope my struggle helps Samsung build a new management-labor relationship,” Mr. Kim ​told the South Korean news media after climbing down on Friday.

He decided to end his protest after Samsung agreed to meet some of his demands. But other than the apology, the details of the signed agreement between Samsung and Mr. Kim’s representatives were not disclosed.

“The company expresses its apology to Mr. Kim Yong-hee for not resolving the issue sooner and also offers a word of consolation to his family,” Samsung said in ​its apology sent to the news media. “We will continue to try to communicate with the society in a humble attitude.”

Samsung’s apology was part of a broader attempt to address growing pressure to reform its management.


Choe Sang-Hun

2020-05-29 10:49:04

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