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"Thank You for Giving Us a Chance to Work"

Posted January. 28, 2005 22:49,   


Tak Hak-soo (46), a labor union leader of Hyundai Heavy Industries, sent a letter of gratitude to a foreign ship owner that had placed an order with the company.

On January 28, Tak sent a letter to Charles Fields, who is vice president of ExxonMobil, the company that owns the FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) vessel that is in its last stage of production and scheduled to be handed over on January 30. In the letter, Tak wrote, “On behalf of the union, I thank you for giving us the opportunity to build a great ship.”

Tak expressed his gratitude by saying, “During the two-year production process of the FPSO vessel, we were able to set a record of 6.6 million hours without a single accident and successfully finished the construction, all due to ExxonMobil’s continuous attention in our efforts to effectively run a safe-production program.”

During the production period of the FPSO, ExxonMobil set safety rules, such as restricting workers who had not fully recovered from excessive drinking from entering the construction site, and also asked Hyundai Heavy Industries to strictly abide by the rules.

Tak revealed, “The labor union promises to present the best quality and to meet every order’s due date that is set by ExxonMobil.”

The FPSO vessel that Hyundai Heavy Industries was ordered to build in December 2002 for $800 million is 285 meters long, 63 meters wide, 32 meters tall, and can produce and refine 250,000 barrels of crude petroleum a day.

Hyundai Heavy Industries’ labor union, which was the center of vigorous labor movements in the 1990s, was expelled last September from the Metal Industry Union, an affiliation of the Korean Federation of Trade Unions, on the grounds that it “showed anti-laborer attitudes,” and ended up leaving the Korean Federation of Trade Unions because it did not file for re-examination, announcing that it would “hold rational labor movements.”

Jae-Rak Jeong raks@donga.com