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Seventeen workers at a Samsung SDI plant in Busan were admitted to the Korean Metal Workers’ Union on October 13 in “protest against the company’s unilateral reassignment of the workers to its affiliate,” the union said on October 14. It is rare for regular workers of Samsung to be admitted into a union all at once and in such a public way. Samsung is well known for not allowing its workers to unionize, and a series of previous attempts to establish unions have ended in failure. Last year, rank-and-file Samsung SDI workers protesting against the company’s demand that they retire voluntarily won accession to the KMWU as individuals, but they failed to form a union after preparatory meetings on unionization collapsed. continue reading

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