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Sales of Cho Hung Bank Enter the Final Stage.

Posted June. 17, 2003 21:32,   


Unionized workers at Cho Hung Bank went on all-out strike in protest against the bank`s sell-off plan. To demonstrate their desperate determination, protesters collectively shaved the hair and waged hunger strikes.

The government, who already concluded the selling deal, has embarked on follow-up measures, heralding a fierce confrontation between the government and the unionists.

The company workers and heads of the union charters nationwide gathered yesterday in the afternoon at Cho Hung Bank`s headquarters in Gwanggyo, Joonggu, Seoul, and had collective hair-shaving demonstration and declared general strikes for an indefinite period.

“This strife is Cho Hung workers` unanimous expression that we are strongly determined to do everything possible to stop the company`s sales deal”, said Huh Heung-jin, head of the union, and emphatically spoke that “We are completely prepared for the general strikes planned on June 25 unless the government withdraw its sell-off plan.”

Yet, the government, reaching the final deals yesterday, announced that official contracts would be signed by Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) and Shinhan Financial Group on 20 at the earliest.

It is known that the government will receive final reports on the deal from the KDIC at a sub-committee meeting of Public Fund Oversight Committee on June 18.

The KDIC decided to raise the acquisition price from the previous 6,150 won per share to 6,200, while expanding compensation coverage for contingent liabilities.

The KDIC plans to consider allowing the same job succession to Cho Hung Bank employees as to Seoul Bank`s.

The Corporation will base workers` performance during the second and third quarters this year in reorganizing the personnel management, in compliance with the agreed MOU.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), in the meantime, mobilized a taskforce in order to minimize the damages to the bank`s individual customers and other related institutions and dispatched six technicians at IT center of Cho Hung Bank.

The FSS plans an emergency operation so that financial transaction will not be disrupted by workers`s walkout. In an emergency, at least 70 branches will serve their administrative regions and available employees will provide the services, such as money deposit and withdrawal, tax and utilities bill payments, foreign currency exchanges, money transmission and bill clearance, etc.

Money withdrawal will be available at other banks neighboring Cho Hung Bank and online network and ATMs will be closely monitored for normal business operation with the help of the FSS-dispatched technicians.

Kwu-Jin Lim Dong-Won Kim mhjh22@donga.com daviskim@donga.com