Posco, Illegal Substitute Personnel Into Partners?

▲ Metalworking

When a worker from POSCO’s partner company Poun (formerly Seongam Industrial Co., Ltd.) refused to work overtime, a claim was raised that POSCO had hired replacement workers.

The Gwangyang Machinery and Metal Transport Industry Union (Chairman Ok-kyung Park) of the Metal Workers’ Federation held a press conference in front of the Yeosu branch of the Ministry of Employment and Labor on the morning of the 27th and demanded, “POSCO, which neutralizes industrial action by in-house subcontractors, immediately stop using illegal substitutes.” . After the press conference on that day, he submitted a petition to the Gwangyang Office to supervise POSCO for special labor.

Poun is an intra-premises transport company that transports waste, slabs, hot-rolled coils, and cold-rolled coils within the Gwangyang Works, with 208 workers. Of these, 117 were members of the union.

The controversy over illegal replacement of workers arose in December of last year when Poun workers took the form of refusing to work overtime. Another local transport company operated the transport machine on behalf of the union member. The machine is specially made equipment and belongs to Foun.

Poun consistently insists that the replacement of human resources is what POSCO is doing. In a phone call with on the same day, an official from Foreun said, “There is no illegal replacement of manpower. It is not involved at all.” Regarding the fact that substitute work is being done with equipment owned by Poun, he explained, “If there are special circumstances, special equipment is to be applied (to POSCO).” The same argument is repeated in the transcripts secured by the union. When the union asked about wages for replacement workers, Poun replied, “Settlement is done by POSCO.”

The union claimed that POSCO’s actions violated Article 43 of the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act (Union Act). The union said, “Employers cannot hire or replace a person unrelated to the business to perform work that was interrupted due to the industrial action during the period of industrial action, but POSCO subcontracted the work interrupted by the industrial action to continue the operation,” the union said. “It was an act that completely incapacitated the union’s constitutional rights,” he criticized.

The union believes that the actions of Forun and POSCO are intended to suppress the union. The labor-management conflict of Poun arose when the management unilaterally switched jobs. According to the changed job system, workers with high tenure are entrusted with the work performed by workers with low tenure. It’s like having the manager carry out the work that the deputy was doing. The opposite is also possible. It shook the work system of workers who were proud of taking on high-skilled work over their careers. In particular, most of the employees with high tenure are union members. Low-skilled workers are those who joined after 2020 and there are many non-union members.

Chairman Park Ok-kyung said, “The company unilaterally changed the job system because it said it had personnel rights. POSCO said, “We have no separate position.”


Leave a Comment