“We directly hired a baker working at a franchise, and the union fought over the food bowl”… SPC Chairman Arrest Crisis

“We directly hired a baker working at a franchise, and the union fought over the food bowl”…  SPC Chairman Arrest Crisis

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SPC side “strongly regrets request for arrest warrant for Chairman Heo Young-in”

As the prosecution investigating the suspicion of destroying the union of SPC Group’s Paris Baguette bakery workers requested an arrest warrant for Chairman Heo Young-in, attention is focused on the background.

Heo Young-in, Chairman of SPC Group. yunhap news

According to the industry on the 4th, the Public Investigation Department 3 of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office (Chief Sambin Lim) requested an arrest warrant for Chairman Heo on charges of violating the Labor Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act the day before. It has been one day since the prosecution received an arrest warrant from the court on the 2nd and arrested Chairman Heo.

Chairman Heo is suspected of ordering union destruction at SPC. The gist of the suspicion is that PB Partners, which recruits and manages Paris Baguette bakers, encouraged bakers to withdraw from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions from July 2019 to August 2022 and gave them disadvantages in promotions. There are also suspicions that PB Partners engaged in unfair labor practices, such as supporting the recruitment of union members belonging to the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and having the union president issue a statement consistent with the company’s position.

The industry is citing the long-standing conflict with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions as the reason for this arrest warrant request. The labor union within SPC Group was established in 1968. Before 2018, 15,000 of the group’s total 20,000 employees were members of a union affiliated with the Federation of Korean Trade Unions. It is said that there was no major labor-management noise up to that time, so it was said that it was a union-friendly company.

Then, in 2017, the previous government, which set ‘regularization of non-regular workers’ as a labor policy, implemented special labor supervision for Paris Baguette and issued a direct employment order for about 5,300 bakers working at Paris Baguette franchises nationwide. In this process, a union affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was launched.

SPC Group established a subsidiary, PB Partners, in January 2018 and hired all bakers from franchise stores. The Federation of Korean Trade Unions, which was previously the head of SPC Group, also established a union, creating a plurality union system along with the union under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Afterwards, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was established at other affiliates, such as SPL and Dunkin’, and this system continued.

Panoramic view of SPC Group headquarters in Seocho-gu, Seoul. News 1

In the process of the two unions expanding their power, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ Chemical Fiber Union claimed that the company did not keep the social agreement signed at the time of the establishment of PB Partners and oppressed the union, and continued to have conflicts with the company and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, including holding rallies and sit-ins. has been creating

In the process, at the factory of Dunkin’, another affiliate where the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was established, a union member was reported to the police for allegedly injecting foreign substances into the food manufacturing process. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions filed a complaint against the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions for what happened in the process of responding to the actions of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) in order to prevent damage to franchisees due to brand image damage and boycotts at the time, and the related investigation is currently in progress. .

An industry insider said, “They directly hired bakers working at franchise stores, but the two major unions were established and they started fighting over their own food, which led to a management vacuum. “During the previous administration, the illegal or unreasonable actions carried out by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions were not greatly highlighted, but with the recent prosecution investigation, interest in the company’s actions has increased,” he said. “The industry is also reacting with suspicion about the prosecution’s intensive investigation.” He explained, “Even in the legal world, the arrest of a business owner who is hospitalized is considered unusual.”

Meanwhile, the SPC Group said on this day, “The SPC Group expresses strong regret over the prosecution requesting an arrest warrant for Chairman Heo Young-in,” adding, “The arrest warrant was unreasonably executed on an elderly patient hospitalized and did not provide sufficient opportunity to make a statement.” The charges against Chairman Heo Young-in in this case are so unclear that an arrest warrant is even requested without guaranteeing the right to defense. “I feel very sad about the current situation,” he said.

The decision on whether to arrest Chairman Heo is expected to be made as early as today.

Reporter Kim Soo-yeon [email protected]

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