to make the judge question the law

▲ Attorney Im Sang-ok (Public Transport Union Law Court)

‘The circumstances of this case’. As a court lawyer, this is the item that I put the most effort into when I submit a letter (written) to the court while carrying out labor cases. In general, the laws dealt with in labor cases and the court’s interpretation of them do not favor workers. In this regard, Justice Kim Jae-hyung’s separate opinion among the contents of the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel the notification of the KTU, which was sentenced on September 3 last year, was impressive. Justice Kim Jae-hyung, in a separate opinion, said that when interpreting legal provisions according to the wording, it is essentially a problem if results contrary to common sense occur.

For what reasons did judges become suspicious of existing laws and their interpretations? It is not only the decision to cancel the notification of the union outside the law. The same is true of the exceptional judgment of the court in the process of the struggle of the LG Twin Tower cleaners, which lasted for about a year from April 16 of last year to April 30 of the following year. I believe that the struggle of the cleaning workers became ‘the background of this case’ and made the judge doubt the existing law and the interpretation of the law.

Workers cleaning the LG Twin Towers started a rally on April 16, last year, in the lobby of the first floor of the LG Twin Towers building, demanding the guarantee of labor union activities. Then, LG Co., Ltd. applied for an injunction against the assembly ban saying that it is true that the cleaning workers holding the assembly work in the LG Twin Towers building, but because they are legally affiliated with a cleaning service company, not LG, it is unacceptable to hold a rally in an LG-owned building against LG. did If only the existing court’s interpretation of the relevant laws and laws had been followed, the court would have accepted the application for injunction. However, the court’s decision was different. The labor-management relationship between the service company and the cleaning workers of LG Twin Towers was directly or indirectly related to LG Co., Ltd., so LG Co., Ltd. had an obligation to accept the just industrial actions of the cleaning workers to some extent.

As the struggle of the cleaning workers continued, LG Co., Ltd. canceled the service contract with the service company to which the cleaning workers belonged in December of last year and applied for injunction again. The status of cleaning workers at LG Twin Towers is no longer the same as that of outsiders outside the Twin Towers, so they asked for a ban on industrial action. It was an application for injunction that perfectly matched the existing law and interpretation of the law. However, the court’s decision was different. Specifically, the court held that ① in the case of the Korea Water Resources Corporation, the judgment that it was not always illegal for workers belonging to the subcontractor to engage in industrial action at the contractor’s workplace providing labor was not always unlawful. ② Furthermore, in a situation where the cleaning workers are engaged in industrial action in this case to the effect that LG’s abrupt termination of the service contract constitutes unfair dismissal or unfair labor practice, the service contract He said that it cannot be concluded that LG is not in a position to bear the obligation to pay for the industrial actions of cleaning workers on the grounds that the award has been terminated.

What has led the courts to draw conclusions based on concrete validity, taking into account the real situation faced by indirectly employed workers, going beyond existing laws and interpretations of the law? I think it is the struggle of the cleaning workers, which is compressed in ‘The Circumstances of This Case’. If the cleaning workers had stopped fighting at the same time as the service contract was terminated in December of last year, the court would not have considered the formality of the service contract termination. During the one-year struggle, cleaning workers at LG Twin Towers conducted propaganda campaigns every morning and evening without missing a single day. He did not hesitate to sleep outdoors in the middle of winter. Full-time employees of the Seoul branch of the Public Transport Union were busy holding group meetings every day to check the status of the elderly cleaning workers. I believe that such a struggle became ‘the background of this case’ and made the judge question the law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *