The conflict between Takeda Korea's management and labor union has reached a fever pitch as the majority of unionized workers voted in favor of going on a strike on Thursday.
The union said that 48 out of the total 52 members participated in the vote, and 47 members voted in support of the strike. The vote took at the Korean offshoot took when the labor union at the company’s headquarters in Japan was also holding a general meeting.
Takeda Korea union informed the headquarter union of the situation facing workers regarding the unfair treatment of Takeda Korea employees during a merger with Shire Korea. "The headquarter union’s leader sympathized with the situation in Korea and agreed to protest the unfair treatment to the company’s management actively," a union member said.
The union has claimed the unfair treatment occurred in various areas ranging from wage increase rate to unfair changes in their jobs and roles, as well as the possible sell-off of the company's primary care division.
Takeda Korea CEO Moon Hee-seok publicly said last month that the rumor was not true. He also refuted the labor union's claim, saying the dispute between the management and the labor was a natural conflict that can happen during the merger of two different organizations.
As the claims of the two sides are in direct opposition to each other, Takeda Korea's labor union applied for mediation to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on July 26. Takeda's management failed to propose a compromise plan, however, and the commission stopped mediating the two parties.
During that time, the labor union had said that it planned to hold a vote of members on strike. As the walkout is now in full swing, it is highly likely that Takeda Korea union members will take more direct action, observers said.
Kim Young-buk, the leader of Korea Democratic Pharmaceutical Union at Takeda Pharmaceutical Korea, said that the union plans to hold rallies and picketing in front of the company’s Japanese headquarters.
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