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Samsung Electronics Board Chairman Sentenced to Imprisonment
Guilty of Obstructing Formation of Trade Union
Samsung Electronics Board Chairman Sentenced to Imprisonment
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • December 18, 2019, 08:40
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The Samsung Electronics Service branch of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union holds a press conference in front of the Seoul Central District Court, which reached a first instance verdict on Dec. 17 on labor union suppression.

Of 32 criminal defendants, including Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electronics Service, 26 were convicted of violation of the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act by the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 17. Samsung Electronics board chairman Lee Sang-hoon, Samsung Electronics vice president Kang Kyung-hoon, and former Samsung Electronics Service head Park Sang-bum were sentenced to 18 months in prison and put under court custody for having sabotaged labor union activities.

Samsung Card president Won Ki-chan and Samsung C&T CEO Chung Keum-yong were sentenced to 18 months in prison with three years of probation. Samsung Electronics vice president Park Yong-ki was sentenced to one year in prison with two years of probation. The other defendants including former and current members of the Future Strategy Office of Samsung Group and the Korea Employers Federation were fined or given a jail sentence with probation.

A fine of 74 million won was imposed on Samsung Electronics Service. Samsung Electronics Corporation and three partner companies’ presidents were acquitted. The court ruled that Samsung Electronics Service controlled partner companies’ service engineers and the companies were run without independence under Samsung Electronics Service.

The unexpected court custody has shocked Samsung Group, in which three Samsung BioLogics vice presidents recently faced imprisonment. The board chairman is one of the top aides to Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong. His imprisonment is likely to affect corporate-wide reorganization, not to mention the operation of the company’s board of directors. The board chairman’s term is until March 2021 and the board is predicted to have a new chairperson in the near future.