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Strike at Hotel Lotte ends after 74 days

Posted August. 22, 2000 15:03,   


The labor-management negotiation at Hotel Lotte came to a settlement August 21, ending 74 days of strike and marking a watershed of this year's labor disputes.

The hotel's union and management have agreed to shift non-regular staff members for more than three years to regular employees, minimize disciplinary punishment related to the strike and withdraw complaints related to the strike, remove clauses that unilaterally restrict union's action under collective agreement and to raise salary by more than 10%.

As a result, the strike at a deluxe-class hotel, which was highlighted with a roundup of 1,000 union members, 45 billion won of lost sales and a class action of 270 employees for sexual harassment, came to an end.

As for the question of punishment and filing of complaints, which served as an obstacle in the last-minute settlement, management has decided to rehire 78 of 83 employees who were fired with termination of contract in order to minimize the punishment. Also, the union promised to make efforts to cancel the civil suit filed by the union for sexual harassment.

Above all, the agreement is meaningful because it is the first major company that systematized making non-regular workers into regular employees. A total of 113 non-regular employees who worked for more than three years will become regular workers this year, and the number is expected to increase annually. So the number of non-regular workers, which account for 56.9% of its entire workforce, is likely to reduce on a gradual basis.

This is a solution for non-regular workers suggested by chairman of Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) Dan Beong-Ho as this year`s major goal, and it is expected to affect other labor disputes at Swiss Grand Hotel and E-Land.

Sohn Nak-Koo, chief of KCTU education and public relations department, said that involvement of the police in the process of negotiation was burdensome to labor, management and the government, adding that 404 union members who were injured through police suppression will file a lawsuit for compensation of damages.

Kim Joon-Seok kjs359@donga.com