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Chohung Bank Union Hampers New President Election

Posted August. 07, 2003 21:49,   


Election of a new president at Chohung Bank (CHB) has come to a standstill as the board meeting was postponed due to opposition from the bank`s union members.

Chohung Bank announced yesterday that it was scheduled to call a special board meeting yesterday but decided to delay the meeting until August 8. Originally, the bank had planned to promote the vice president, Choi Dongsu, to president and designate Shinhan Bank president Lee In-ho chairman of the board at the meeting.

CHB directors delayed the meeting, however, when the bank`s union leaders rushed into the conference room at the headquarters, located in Namdaemun, Chung-gu, Seoul, protesting Choi`s nomination for the new presidency.

“We do not recognize Choi as a CHB member because he has only worked at the bank for three years since the government injected public funds into CHB,” argued CHB union leaders. Raising their voices, they argued, “The recent movement to promote Choi as president is a clear violation of the labor-management agreement reached on June 22, which mandated a bank head must be from the bank.”

Before this, the union members closed offices on the 20th and 23rd floors, where Shinhan Financing Group is located, in an effort to change CHB`s corporate accounting standards to that of the U.S.`s Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, in an effort to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The union ordered its members not to contact Shinhan nor follow instructions from Shinhan. It also made public the list of cooperators to Shinhan.

Shinhan`s acquisition deal with Chohung is expected to face many obstacles in the process as CHB unionists plan to nullify Choi`s presidency.

Do-Young Kim Chi-Young Shin nirvana1@donga.com higgledy@donga.com