Unhappy union workers at Homeplus walked off the job Wednesday, in the middle of the busy Korean Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, demanding job security guarantees from MBK Partners, the Seoul-based private equity firm that bought Homeplus from Tesco earlier this month.
MBK has said it will adhere to the current terms of employment, and expressed a willingness to talk with the labor union, but not until the deal with Tesco is actually finalized in October.
However, the Homeplus labor union went ahead with the walkout saying that MBK has refused to sit with them at the negotiating table and discuss their future plans.
“We have tried to reach an agreement on the job security and the continued growth of Homeplus before the Chuseok holiday, but the efforts fell through because MBK and the management refused to sit with us,” a labor union said.
The walkout included 2,000 workers across the country while 1,500 other employees staged a rally in front of MBK’s office in downtown Seoul, reports Yonhap.
With the Chuseok holiday (Korean Thanksgiving) being the busiest time of the year, the union said that the strike was joined by less than 10 percent of all employees to reduce customer inconvenience.
Homeplus employs more than 26,000 people and operates 1,075 outlets in Korea.