The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Thursday that it has found a number of labor law violations at E-Mart and will take disciplinary measures if the company refuses to correct its unfair practices.
“We found a number of cases of E-Mart violating the law by raiding the company’s headquarters and 24 branches twice and questioning officials,” an official said.
Through a intensive inspection since mid-February, the ministry discovered that E-Mart has been illegally using nearly 2,000 employees of its subcontractors at 23 out of 24 investigated branches.
The ministry will order E-Mart to officially hire those dispatched workers, or face some 19.7 billion won in penalties, it added.
E-Mart also failed to pay about 110 million won in allowance to 580 employees and forced a number of pregnant women to work night shifts and holidays without their consent.
The ministry will also continue to look into suspicions that the company illegally monitored employees to prevent them from joining a union.
On Thursday morning, officials raided an office in Seoul that managed E-Mart’s Internet server to find evidence proving the company’s alleged abuses of labor rights. The ministry will report the results of the case after it concludes the on-going investigation, officials added.
The ministry’s probe into E-Mart started last month, soon after Rep. Jang Ha-na of the main opposition Democratic United Party claimed that the retailer spied on workers under guidelines designed and delivered by its parent company, Shinsegae Group. The group distributed a list of ways to prevent workers from organizing or joining unions in June 2011 to all of its affiliates, a month before the government allowed workers to form multiple unions, the lawmaker said.
By Cho Chung-un (email@example.com