Pernod’s Korean arm to strike after layoffs

20th June, 2014 by Rupert Millar

The labour union of Pernod Ricard’s South Korean arm is to go on strike to protest the layoff of 30 employees on what claims are “insufficient grounds”.

Pernod Ricard Korea CEO, Jean-Manuel Spriet

Pernod Ricard Korea CEO, Jean-Manuel Spriet

Pernod Ricard is currently cutting costs within its organisation which includes job losses. The Spirits Business recently reported that up to 60 jobs were to be cut in France.

According to Korea Times, the union in Korea has plans to strike next week on 26 June and will call on the management to withdraw its early retirement programme (ERP) which will require around 30 employees to retire by 1 July.

This is apparently the sixth such early retirement programme that Pernod has undertaken in Korea, with 60 jobs cut between 2000 and 2006 and 80 between 2007 and last year.

Kim Guee-hyun, the leader of the union, said: “A layoff has been carried out every three or four years without convincing explanations.

“Reducing workforce is normally considered a last resort to save a financially troubled company. But this is not the case. Pernod Ricard Korea is financially healthy enough.”

He continued: “The company seems to have a list of names they want to kick out. Executives privately interviewed all union members recently. And in the process, some of them were verbally pressed to leave the company.

“Those who refuse to do so will find their roles suspended from July 1.”

Guee-hyan has also claimed that Pernod’s Korea CEO, Jean-Mauel Spriet (pictured) has asked the union to collaborate to ensure a “smooth” implementation of the ERP.

A spokesman for Pernod Ricard refused to comment to Korea Times and said negotiations were underway.

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