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August 29, 1988

FIGHTS AT KOREA PLANT SPUR TANDY TO MOVE PHONES TO TAIWAN

By CBR Staff Writer

Continued political disruptions in South Korea have panicked Tandy Corp into withdrawing some of its production from its Korean plant, chairman John Roach told an annual meeting of store managers in Anaheim, California last week. Given the general level of cultural change and political uncertainty, we’re adjusting some products out of there at the present time, he told Reuters at the meeting: This does not mean we are getting out altogether, he added, saying that any future decisions on the plant would depend on Korea’s level of stability. The work will go to the Tandy facilities in Taiwan. The move is a blow to the Koreans, because the Masan plant employs about 2,000 people; it is the cellular and other retail telephone products that are being moved out. Tandy’s worries were exacerbated by events in July, when a meeting of female workers trying to unionise was disrupted by anti-union workers, who were beaten back by the women’s bodyguards. A few days later a group of men attacked some of the women, sending some to the hospital, and 16 employees had subsequently been fired. No immediate lay-offs are expected.

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