KB union withdraws plans for 2nd strike

24 Feb 2019 Ferado

Union workers at KB Kookmin Bank said Monday they have canceled a plan to hold a second strike for three days, after reaching an agreement with the bank’s management on some thorny labor issues.

The previous strike, the bank’s first in 19 years, was held for one day, Jan. 8.

The decision to cancel the strike, which was slated for Jan. 30 to Feb.1, followed an order from a high-ranking official from the Korean Financial Industry Union who recommended against further collective action saying the two sides were likely to reach an agreement in the near future.

The two already drew up a joint tentative agreement Jan. 18, a day after they exchanged demands in writing.

However, it remains undecided whether two more planned strikes will also be scrapped.

The two sides failed to reach a complete agreement as they didn’t iron out differences over the pay-band system that caps the wages of employees who fail to attain a promotion within a designated period of time.

“With the scrapped plan, the bank will be able to ensure the continued customer service to minimize inconvenience ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls in the second week of February,” a KB official said.

The cancellation also came amid growing criticism over workforce redundancies after no major disruptions were reported at the bank’s 1,058 branches despite over 10,000 workers joining the Jan. 8 strike.

The collective action organized by the highly paid, white-collar workers raised some eyebrows as their demands were mostly concerned with protecting vested interests despite their relatively high job security.

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