S. Korea bank workers end two-month strike

29th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Standard Chartered bank's South Korean unit said Monday its unionised workers had eased their tough stance and agreed to end a two-month strike over attempts to adopt a performance-based pay system.

SC First Bank is the first lender in South Korea to try to introduce the new system, which bank chiefs say is essential to long-term growth.

But about 2,500 unionised workers among its 6,500 staff launched a stoppage on June 27, claiming the new system was just aimed at cutting labour costs.

The longest work stoppage in South Korea's banking history prompted SC First Bank to shut 43 of its 392 branches.

"We've agreed to return to work and try to solve the dispute within a legal framework," union leader Kim Jae-Yul told AFP.

"We thought the issue could only be resolved in a long-term negotiation and a prolonged strike damages the bank and causes too much inconvenience to customers," he added.

SC First Bank was established in 2005 after the Asia-focused British-based banking group bought Korea First Bank.

South Korean firms trying to dump seniority-based compensation have often faced intense opposition from workers who worry that a change would make job cuts easier.

© 2011 AFP

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