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  • Inquiry on Obligation to Rehire
    • 담당부서 : 외투기업고충처리실(고상원)
    • 조회수 : 2,653
  • Organization : Ministry of Employment and Labor
  • Regulation : Labor Collective Agreement, Trade Unions and Labor Relations Adjustment Act
Swiss Company B offered Honorary Early Retirement to staff members, in return for the voluntary resignation of some 20 employees. (Company B gave the employees preferential treatment in terms of compensation /retirement pay).

Recently, Swiss Company B expanded operations and put forth a plan to hire new employees. When they placed an advertisement for new employees, the labor union came forth and strongly urged them to first rehire employees released under the Labor Collective Agreement.

Company B came to Invest Korea to discuss the possible repercussion of not honoring the request.

Resoultion and Results
Resolution and Results
In regards to priority rehire of employees released under the labor collective agreement:
If, under the labor collective agreement, it was agreed that employees released would be given priority in hiring, then in order to build cooperative labor-management relations, such a move would be advisable.

If Company B is unable to comply with demands made, it may be considered a breach of the labor collective agreement. This could lead to a legal dispute, the outcome of which is uncertain.

First, according to punitive provisions of the Trade Unions and Labor Relations Adjustment Act, if labor conditions, as defined in the labor collective agreement(normative conditions) are not met, punitive action will be taken. However, since no normative provision exists for priority rehire of dismissed employees under the labor collective agreement, failing to do so could not be constituted as a failure to abide by the provisions of the Trade Unions and Labor Relations Adjustment Act. Therefore, penalties for non-adherence are unlikely to be assessed. That is, it would not be constituted as a criminal act.

Therefore, the parties concerned would likely file a civil suit against the company for being in breach of contract. In order for the labor union to file suit, they must first prove that they suffered damages as a result of Company B’s failure to carry out the provisions of the labor collective agreement. It is also perceived that calculating damages may prove complicated. In addition, other issues, employees who had originally agreed to accept an early retirement may not be eligible to file suit since they are no longer employed by Company B. Nevertheless, there remains the possibility that a civil suit will be filed.

Another avenue that the union may take, other than filing a suit, is to deliberately create tension within the company to the degree that it would be emotionally taxing for Company B. They should be aware that the ensuing great psychological burden.