《Eastar Jet's union goes on hunger strike to urge pulling back layoffs》
South Korea's budget carrier Eastar Jet Co.'s union goes on a hunger strike, as the airplane carried out massive layoffs yesterday.
The Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union (KPTU) held a press conference yesterday in front of the National Assembly Building and announced that Park Ea-sam, director of the airline's pilot unit, would begin a hunger strike.
"The former ruling party lawmaker Lee Sang-jik, who owns Eastar Jet, resigned from the party promising he would return after bringing jobs back to his employees. Instead, he fired 615 people today," said the labor union. "Furthermore, the government and its ruling party sat on their hands while the airline's unpaid wages were amounting to 31.4 billion won ($27 million)."
Eastar Jet disclosed earlier that it would lay off its employees in accordance with the size of the workforce it needs for its six operating airplanes. This decision was made to smooth the sale of the company.
Eastar Jet's pilot unit has been on "sit-down strikes" in front of the National Assembly Building since September 3 in opposition to the company's decision.
The South Korean low-cost carrier has been in a death spiral since the outbreak of the pandemic and a failed merger deal with Jeju Air.