Korean Air staff protest against chairman

Protesters in Seoul calling for Korean Airline chairman Cho Yang Ho to resign last Friday. Airline pilots, flight attendants and staff are also demanding greater transparency over the company's management. The bad behaviour of Mr Cho's daughters has
Protesters in Seoul calling for Korean Airline chairman Cho Yang Ho to resign last Friday. Airline pilots, flight attendants and staff are also demanding greater transparency over the company's management. The bad behaviour of Mr Cho's daughters has reignited public impatience with family-run conglomerates in South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • Hundreds of Korean Air workers protested in the centre of Seoul late last Friday, calling for the airline's chairman Mr Cho Yang Ho to resign because of the bad behaviour of his daughters.

Wearing Guy Fawkes masks, the protesters carried placards saying "Cho Yang Ho, OUT" and "No mercy".

The South Korean airline conglomerate has faced mounting public outrage after the chairman's younger daughter Cho Hyun Min was accused of throwing a drink at people at a business meeting last month.

The tantrum by the heiress reignited public impatience with family-run conglomerates, known as chaebol, over what some people see as unchecked bad behaviour by the rich and powerful.

Ms Cho Hyun Min's older sister, Hyun Ah, made headlines in 2014 when she lost her temper over the way she was served nuts on a Korean Air plane.

In response to the public backlash, Mr Cho made his daughters step down from their positions at the airline and made a public apology for their behaviour.

But airline pilots, flight attendants and staff said they would continue to protest on the streets until the chairman steps down. They are also demanding greater transparency over the management of the company.

"We can't put up with Cho family's abuses anymore. Cho family, leave the company!" Mr Park Chang Jin told his co-workers at the vigil in downtown Seoul. He was the chief steward on the plane during the "nut rage" incident and had been ejected from the aircraft.

South Korean police said earlier last Friday that they were seeking an arrest warrant for the 34-year-old Cho Hyun Min on suspicion of assault during her recent angry outburst. She has denied any wrongdoing and made her first appearance for police questioning over the incident last Tuesday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Korean Air staff protest against chairman'. Print Edition | Subscribe