Samsung Group repeals its no-union principle that has continued for 80 years. On Dec. 18, Samsung Electronics and Samsung C&T apologized to the public for their attempt to hinder union activities in Samsung Electronics Service.
At present, Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Securities, Everland and S-1 have small labor unions. The apology means that more unions can be formed in Samsung Group as a whole. Samsung Group subsidiaries’ top executives are currently working on measures to strengthen their compliance management by turning the individual compliance management activities of the subsidiaries into more systematic group-wide activities.
“Samsung Electronics has provided a lot of bonuses and employee benefits so that its employees do not feel the necessity of unions,” said an industry insider, adding, “Although its change in stance is to keep pace with social trends, union-related risks can hinder its business activities as seen in the cases of many other companies.”
There are some concerns over the policy change. Many economic experts say that Samsung Electronics should focus on growth rather than distribution with China and Taiwan about to overtake Samsung Electronics in the semiconductor industry and operating profit ratios on the decline in its smartphone and consumer electronics business units.