May 15, 2018 / 8:46 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea orders arrest of Samsung official over union sabotage claim

SEOUL, May 15 (Reuters) - A South Korean court issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for a senior official of a unit of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as prosecutors investigate whether the conglomerate sabotaged workers’ efforts to strengthen labour unions.

The tech giant’s unions tend to be small and weak, and it has often drawn fire from politicians and civic groups for not engaging with organised labour, but it recently agreed to hire temporary workers as regular staff and recognise their union.

In a statement, the Seoul Central District Court said it granted the warrant for the official, identified only by the surname Choi, because of concerns over destruction of evidence.

Prosecutors are investigating Samsung’s repair service unit over suspected sabotage of labour union activities by company management, prosecution officials have said.

A spokeswoman for Samsung Electronics declined to comment on the investigation.

Prosecutors investigated similar accusations after a lawmaker disclosed a document in 2013 that she said contained Samsung’s guidelines on how to stop employees from organising unions.

But the case was dropped as prosecutors could not verify the source of the document. (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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